Two Best Friends Push Each Other to New Heights, Literally and Emotionally

The lifelong bond between two friends didn't break when one of them found himself wheelchair-bound; in fact, it brought them even closer.


Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray were born 36 hours apart. From the moment they met to the present they have been the closest of friends, but their relationship was forced to evolve when Justin was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease called multifocal acquired motor axonopathy in his early 20s. Soon, Justin found himself in a wheelchair and Patrick found himself struggling to come to grips with his best friend's condition. To their great credit, both men persisted in caring for one another, and they slowly adjusted to the change. And then came the idea.

When Justin learned of a 500-mile trail in Spain called the Camino de Santiago, he was immediately stirred to action. "I knew instantly: you need to do this," he says. And Patrick? He responded just as quickly: "I'll push you."When you watch video they captured along their route, you'll be amazed by some of the extreme terrain that the duo traversed: up steep hills, over big rocks, through muddy passes. While both men are clearly strong and determined themselves, they credit much of their success to fellow hikers they met on the trail, who helped carry Justin's chair and lighten Patrick's load at crucial times.

"I want it to be a testament to how we're supposed to live our lives," Patrick says of the journey and their experiences. "Whoever we come in contact with... the best gift we can give them is to love them."

Check out the full video above to hear the duo talk about what they learned on their hike, and how they were transformed.
Video credit: TODAY.

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