Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A son's disability gives this dad a deadline for adventure

By Louise Kinross

Yesterday I heard a fabulous podcast on The New Family, a Canadian blog by Brandie Weikle that shares unique stories about all the different ways a family can come together and live. 

The New Family has dug up some incredible stories that include raising children with disabilities. 

Yesterday's podcast Seizing The Day With Your Family was about one dad's pursuit of world travel when he learned his son's degenerative condition meant he would lose skills over time.

That dad is David Knapp-Fisher of Victoria, B.C. 

When David learned his son Tristan had Duchenne muscular dystrophy, he vowed to take him around the world before Tristan lost the ability to walk, which doctors predicted would happen in five years.

Coming up with the money was no small feat, and included moving with his wife and son into a 400-square foot bachelor apartment to save on rent and eating lots of Kraft dinner.

When Tristan was eight the family had saved enough to go on a month-long whirlwind to Europe, visiting seven countries. One of the most beautiful anecdotes David tells is getting to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and realizing there was no elevator! He carried Tristan, on his shoulders, up 387 steps so he could see the gargoyles at the top. 

Two weeks after returning home, Tristan had a fall and never walked again. 

David says he's made "amazing life experiences" his family's top priority over material things. 

This interview certainly gave me a lot to think about, and act upon.

Learn more about David's story in this Ted Talk


Ah, lovely. What would you do if you weren't afraid?

This is a monumental life goal!

Traveling is not an impediment when comes to wheelchairs users. It requires more preparation and planning but it is doable. Thank you for this great article, it makes me and my family have no limits.