SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KTVU) - A North Carolina man who has never taken a step in his life went on a hike Friday in South San Francisco.
The nearly two-mile hike up and down Sign Hill may be easy for some, but complicated for others like 33-year-old Kevan Chandler.
Chandler suffers from spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), but thanks to a lot of heart and some ingenuity he is seeing the world.
"I love how wide open it is. It definitely gives you a since of freedom and clarity," he said.
Chandler wanted out of his wheelchair, so he teamed up with a German company and developed a people carrying backpack.
Two-and-a-half years in the making, and he has since toured Europe and hiked the Great Wall of China.
Chandler has opened the eyes of his fellow hikers from Genentech who are working on a treatment for SMA. He's become a role model for those fighting the good fight.
"As a broader mission and desire is to inspire others to get out and live life to the fullest," he said. "Knowing that looks different to everyone."
On Friday's hike, new friend JP Sack-Stedar carried Chandler and his 65 pounds on his back.
There was help along the way and a lasting connection that seems to fuel both Sack-Stedar and Chandler.
"It's very inspirational. We had a chance with Kevan yesterday to talk about partnerships and camaraderie that's built by carrying him," Sack-Stedar said. "It's a cool way to build that through physical exercise."
What's next for Chandler? Well, he has India, New Zealand, and South America are on his bucket list.