Six Friends Take Their Disabled Friend On The Trip Of A Lifetime
October 27, 2017
In the summer of 2015, a group of friends decided to set out on an adventure together. They wanted to go to Europe, but it was going to be a bit trickier than just that. One of them, after all, was in a wheelchair.
Kevan Chandler was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a neuromuscular disease which limits his mobility, and the gang wanted to visit some specific places that were not exactly handicap accessible.
The seven friends spent a year working toward their goal to travel, including a fundraiser and designing a backpack to carry Kevan on their backs. This project became known as We Carry Kevan, and grew to be more than they ever dreamed.
In June of 2016, they boarded an airplane to Paris, leaving Kevan's wheelchair at the Atlanta airport. The team spent three weeks exploring the cities and countrysides of Europe, completely unhindered by the question of accessibility.
Four of the guys took turns carrying Kevan while two filmed the experience.
From dance parties in France to monastic climbs in Ireland, these friends saw the world for what it truly is - big, wild, wonderful, and open to their footsteps.
"One of the most beautiful things about it was that I got to go on this adventure with some of my best friends and we could go anywhere and do whatever without having to think about accessibility," Kevan said. "So in a way we redefined the idea of accessibility in that everything became accessible because we did it differently."
Kevan refuses to let his disability define him.
"There is a reality that we [Kevan and his sister] are disabled. It's not a bad word, it's not a misconception, we can't walk. I'll refer to myself as a cripple. I don't care because that's what I am, but I also realise that that's just a part of who I am, that's not entirely who I am, so I'm not defined by the wheelchair that I'm in or the strength that I have."
Watch the video below.
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