Florida Friends To Carry Their Disabled Pal On Their Backs Through Europe

by Jessica Rothhaar
Jessica is a freelance writer for LittleThings. She’s a proud Pittsburgher that loves to drink tea and adopt cats in her spare time. When she's not hanging out with her kitties, Kiwi and Galdalf, she's most likely in a bridesmaid dress attending another wedding. She is a self-proclaimed Slytherin and would like to visit Harry Potter World as soon as possible!

It is always nice to have friends who support you.

And for Florida native Kevan Chandler, that statement is just as literal as it is figurative. Kevan lost the use of his limbs due to spinal muscular atrophy, but his desire to explore is as strong as ever.

The idea of backpacking around Europe might seem like a pipe dream, but with friends like Tom Troyer, Philip Keller, and Benjamin Duvall, nothing is impossible.

Despite his condition, Kevan is planning on pursuing adventure, just like this woman who refused to allow her battle with cancer to keep her from traveling the world. His friends have planned a 19-day trip backpacking through Europe, and — thanks to a helping hand (and back) from each of his fellow travelers — Kevan plans on being there every step of the way.

Scroll through below for Kevan’s touching story of strength, determination, and fierce friendship.

Have you ever overcome an obstacle to pursue your dreams? Let us know in the comments!

[H/T: CBS News]

Kevan Chandler is a Florida native, a writer, and a lover of adventure. He also happens to suffer from spinal muscular atrophy.

This condition has robbed him of the ability to walk on his own. But despite his inability to walk, Kevan plans on backpacking through Europe this summer.

How is he planning on doing it?

Kevan himself is planning on riding in the backpack.

Kevan’s friends Tom, Philip, and Benjamin plan on taking turns carrying their 65-pound friend in a converted backpack, that features a headrest, padding, and a saddle.

And their friend, Luke Thompson, plans on turning their unique journey into a documentary.

The boys plan to post updates on their website, We Carry Kevan, for their fans and friends to follow as well.

Their website currently details each of their specific destinations, including London, the home of Kensington Gardens. Kevan is particularly excited for Kensington, as one of his role models, Sir J.M. Barrie, created Peter Pan at this location.

Surprisingly, this won’t be the first time this group of friends has gone on an adventure with Kevan on their backs.

It all began when Kevan asked to join his friends on one of their “urban caving” adventures. After the boys fashioned him a frame from a backpack and some hammocks, Kevan was mobile.

“It was cold and wet and infested and as gross as you would expect, but it was awesome. Considering the guys that were carrying me, I was much taller than I’m used to being, so that was fun,” Kevan told CBS News of his underground adventures.

The success of their first adventure inspired the group to plan their upcoming 19-day tour of Europe, where they will backpack through England, Ireland, and France, from June 19 to July 8.

Kevan wants his story to be an example and inspiration for others like him in the world.

“We are all broken in some way or another, and so we all need our burdens to be held up and carried by each other, and the only way that’s going to happen is if we help each other out, and that requires sacrifice of self,” he said.

To follow Kevan’s adventures and help him reach his goal for an the adventure of a lifetime, visit his GoFundMe page.

Do you have friends who would do something like this for you? Let us know in the comments.

Please SHARE this heartwarming story of friendship with those you love!