Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray are lifelong friends who have “pushed” the boundaries of friendship.
Justin, who helps and inspires others with disabilities through his website, The-Disabled-Traveler.com, has a rare, progressive autoimmune disorder that’s left him wheelchair-bound. But it hasn’t stopped his passion for travel.
“I’ve found that traveling is THE BEST way to experience other cultures, forge new and exciting relationships, and gain a greater understanding of yourself,” says Justin. “Yes, there are many challenges that come with that but, in the end, the experiences and memories my family and I now share has made all of my efforts worth it!” In the last 20 years, Jason has visited Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada, as well as many states throughout the U.S., Hawaii, and Alaska. Justin, who lives in Meridian, Idaho, with his wife and three children, has dedicated his life to sharing practical “how-to” information with other disabled travelers.
Patrick is a registered nurse and Program Manager for St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise, Idaho. Patrick and Justin were born just one day apart and have been best friends for more than 38 years. “We travel together; we live life together through our ups and downs; and most importantly, will do anything for each other,” says Patrick.
When Justin saw a travel show about hiking the mountainous 500-mile El Camino de Santiago Trail in Spain, he approached Patrick with the idea. Patrick’s immediate response? “I’ll push you!” Watch a beautiful, inspiring, 6-minute video about the journey to the journey (warning: hankie alert!):
In July, Justin and Patrick completed the grueling 35-day trek.
And because they believe “there’s more to life than just sitting around complaining about the challenges we all face,” they partnered with a documentary crew who came along on their journey, capturing “every joy, struggle, challenge, landscape, and the AMAZING people we met along the way!” They’re now raising funds to finish and distribute their film at IllPushYou.com with the goal of inspiring others to realize that nothing is impossible.
“Our journey showed that if you jump out in faith, then with the help of community and with love, amazing things happen.”