3 Words Made a 500-Mile Trek Possible for These Best Friends
Two men proved that friendship can overcome any obstacle.
Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray, both 39, are lifelong friends. They were born only one day apart and have lived near each other almost their entire lives. Even their children play together, according to “Today.”
Skeesuck, who uses a wheelchair due to an autoimmune disease triggered by a car accident, works as a motivational speaker who instructs people with disabilities on how to travel. When he had the idea to make the 500-mile trek through the Pyrenees Mountains and deserts in northern Spain, he pitched it to Gray, who promptly responded:
“I’ll push you.”
With that, the two embarked on one of the most intense journeys of their lives. They spent the next 35 days trudging through mud, rocky terrain and more while relying on the kindness of complete strangers to help them finish. Gray pushed, dragged and carried his best friend the entire way.
“I think in retrospect this was almost kind of a grand experiment in your faith in humanity,” Gray told KTVB. “You know, we set out to demonstrate that there are no limits if you live your life that way.”
At one point, early in the trip, a wheel broke off Skeesuck’s chair. Tired and exhausted, the two friends weren’t sure what the next step would be. According to “Today,” a group of complete strangers aided Gray in carrying his friend to a nearby village. Once there, the strangers offered them coffee and cookies while they found a welder to repair the chair.
“We knew there was no way just Justin and I would accomplish this (alone),” Gray told the New York Daily News. “(We) were gonna have faith that people would show up and help, and they did, time and time again.”
Before their journey, the two set up a funding website called “I’ll Push You” where they’re still hoping to collect donations to fund a film that documented their journey. A trailer for the film can be viewed below.