Backpackers will carry their friend suffering with muscular atrophy across Europe

21st Mar 2016
Written by: Dave Owen

Meet ‘The Human Backpack’

A group of friends from the USA has vowed to help their friend suffering with muscular atrophy see the world by carrying him around Europe on their backs.

Kevan Chandler from Florida, USA, has spinal muscular atrophy that prevents him from walking, but has done nothing to temper his wanderlust. So his friends have decided to take him around Ireland, England, and France by carrying him on their backs.

Kevan Chandler, 'The Human Backpack'

Tom Troyer, Philip Keller, and Benjamin Duvall will take it in turns to wear a specially converted backpack to carry Chandler, who weighs only 65lbs. The journey will be filmed for a documentary by filmmaker Luke Thompson.

The idea emerged after a spur of the moment decision by the group to take Chandler on one of their ‘urban caving’ expeditions into the sewers of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Funds are currently being raised for the trip via a GoFundMe page.

The official website for the trip lists the places Chandler wants to visit, including Samois Ser Siene in France, Kensington Gardens in London, where Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie lived, and the island of Skellig off the coast of Ireland, where there is a remote sixth century monastery inaccessible to wheelchair users.

The group hopes to set off on June 19, finally allowing Chandler to fulfil his long-held dream, one that would not be possible without his friends. 

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