14-year-old becomes first with disability to hike in, out of Gra - New York News

14-year-old becomes first with disability to hike in, out of Grand Canyon

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - At just 14-years-old, a valley boy is becoming quite the inspiration.

He was the first child with a disability to hike down the Grand Canyon and back out.

But, he didn't get there alone, he had a huge support team with him.

"I said, 'If you could do anything what would it be?' and he said he wanted to get his feet down into the water of the Colorado River, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon," said Jill Castle, Anthony's mom.

She asked the question to 14-year-old Anthony on New Year's, leading to quite the adventure for the whole family.

Her son, who has muscular dystrophy, wanted to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

"At that time, he still walked, but it was really difficult and he certainly couldn't hike," said Castle.

She joined forces with a local organization to help make Anthony's wish come true.

"I had seen a chair at a local non-profit called Daring Adventures where they took people with disabilities out hiking, so I knew that chair existed," said Castle.

"It started out with just our family and I thought just a few people, we'll make it work somehow, that's just how I think, and just more and more people started coming aboard. Then when people started hearing about it, we had more volunteers than we knew what to do with."

More than 30 volunteers helped carry Anthony to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Anthony says the river was his favorite part and even though it was cold, it was worth it.

"It's definitely about the life in your years, not the years in our life, like they say. It was incredible," said Castle.

During the trip, a film crew accompanied the family who are putting together a documentary that should be released later this year.

The family hopes it inspires others with disabilities to dream big.
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