Illinois men carry wheelchair-bound friend as a backpack as they travel the world

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CHICAGO, Illinois-- Kevan Chandler has spent his entire life in a wheelchair. He's always dreamed of traveling the world, but never thought it possible.

His friends found a way. For them, leaving Chandler behind was never an option.

"I have muscle atrophy. I have pretty much spent my whole life in a wheelchair," says Chandler. But in 2015, that all changed.

His friends were going backpacking in Europe, and they had the idea that Chandler could be the backpack.

They modified a baby carrier and carried him, leaving his wheelchair behind at the airport in Atlanta. For the next three weeks, Chandler was the tallest guy in his group of friends.

It was from that vantage point, he was able to climb the cliffs of Ireland, walk the cobblestone streets of Paris and hike the countryside of England.

"It was the one time in my life where I didn't feel disabled anymore," he says.

His journey has inspired hundreds of others with disabilities to seek more accessibility.

Chandler and his friends have now teamed with a German backpack outfitter to design a backpack carrier specifically for adults with disabilities. Through donations on their website,, they hope to gift the backpack carriers to the disabled and their families at no cost.

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