Wheelchair User Hikes Amazon Rainforest

Curated by
Whitney Bailey
Content via Curb Free with Cory Lee
Curb Free with Cory Lee
Curated by
Whitney Bailey

Cory Lee is a world traveler with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. He documents his adventures on his blog Curb Free With Cory Lee to motivate others to go out and explore their surroundings.

Cory and other hiker listening to tour guide explain plants.

Cory shares his experience of hiking the Amazon Rainforest. He had some reservations on whether or not he would be able to go on the adventure, but with a little help from others, Cory completed the hike.

“When I was told that I was going to be hiking in the Amazon Rainforest while in Ecuador, I chuckled a bit. “Now how is that even possible for me?!”, I imagined. There was no way that my wheelchair would be able to roll over those gigantic anacondas… or so I thought.”

Cory was provided with an off-road wheelchair that would make the hike possible for him. Cory describes the wheelchair as a manual chair with long grab bars in the front and back to make it easier to push and pull him with. The staff put a long soft cushion in the seat of the chair to make it more comfortable for Cory. A chest strap was added for safety and Cory’s hands were tied in a scarf placed on his lap so his arms did not fall to the sides and get hit.

Cory states it was very sunny and hot during the ten-minute stroll from the hotel to the entrance of the forest. The staff managed to cut a large leaf from a tree and attach it to the back of Cory’s wheelchair to provide him with shade.

“Between (having shade) and having two guys pushing/carrying me in the chair, I truly felt like the King of the Amazon and was very thankful for everyone’s assistance,” he says.

During the hike, Cory learned all about the medicinal purposes of the plants in the Amazon. He says, “It turns out that almost everything in the Amazon has a purpose. Some plants can cure diabetes, some can restore hair growth, and some can even help with menstrual cramps.”

Cory was even brave enough to eat a chontacuro worm while in the rainforest. “I’m an adventurous eater, but this was the first living thing that I had ever eaten. The chontacuro worm was fat, juicy, and squirming, but when in the Amazon, do as the Amazonians do,” he says.

““Who am I to deserve such incredible experiences such as this?”. These few minutes of listening and meditating truly made me appreciate where I was and how I got there.”

At the end of the journey, the tour guide began playing an instrument made out of wood from the Amazon Rainforest. Cory began to feel grateful for the once in a lifetime opportunity.

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