Indiana man with Muscular Dystrophy travels through Europe in friend’s backpack

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– A Fort Wayne man took a trip through Europe with the help of a few friends.

Kevan Chandler, 30, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), which causes the muscles to become progressively weaker over time. He told People Magazine his life has been “about finding a balance between what I can physically do and what I want to do.”

In 2013, three of his friends assisted him in fulfilling a dream of urban spelunking. They carried him on their backs through the North Carolina sewer system.

Three years later, the group decided to go after a dream that involved some fresher air. Kevan had always wanted to backpack across Europe.

“These amazing countries are filled with wonders that would normally be inaccessible to me, from catacombs to gardens to ancient monasteries,” Chandler’s GoFundMe page says. The page surpassed the original $35,000 goal.

The page says the journey will result in a documentary, at least one book, and songs.

Chandler told People Magazine the response had been overwhelming.

“People have been writing to us saying, ‘I’m disabled and this is really encouraging me to look at life a little differently,’ ” he said.

You can also follow Chandler on Facebook and on Instagram. He arrived back in Fort Wayne this past weekend.

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