Kevan's Story

Six friends, three countries, no wheelchair; and that was just the beginning...

Timeline Explore some of the milestones on Kevan's journey so far
Who is Kevan?

Kevan Chandler grew up in the foothills of North Carolina with his parents and two siblings. The youngest of the bunch, he was the second to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare neuromuscular disease. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Counseling from John Wesley College.

An avid storyteller, Kevan has authored several books, including a memoir of his adventures with his friends, and speaks worldwide about his unique life with a disability. He is also the founder of the nonprofit organization, We Carry Kevan.

How did we get here?

From six friends with a dream to travel, to a worldwide support community of friends and family, we've been part of an amazing journey. Explore the timeline below to learn more about the road so far...

The journey so far...

Summer 2015

The idea

In the summer of 2015, Kevan asks a few close friends to help him realize a lifelong dream to travel to Europe. They all eagerly get onboard to help him make it happen.

Spring 2016

Putting the pieces together

Kevan and his friends start a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for their trip to Europe. They also work to adapt a kid carrier backpack that can carry Kevan for the upcoming trip.

Summer 2016

We carry Kevan

Kevan and his friends set out to travel Europe for three weeks, leaving his wheelchair at home, while the guys carry him in their modified hiking backpack.

Summer 2016

France

Kevan and his friends dance in the streets of Paris on Summer Solstice and attend a music festival on the Seine River honoring Django Reinhardt

Summer 2016

England

The guys wander through the English countryside in Kent and visit special landmarks in London.

Summer 2016

Ireland

Kevan and crew visit the Emerald Isle and hike Skellig Michael.

Winter 2017

Onward and upward

After his journey, Kevan wanted to help others redefine accessiblity in their own lives. So, We Carry Kevan becomes an officially incorporated non-profit organization, establishes a board of directors, and begins working with Deuter USA to develop their own backpack prototype and product.

Summer 2017

The View from Here

We Carry Kevan hosts the exclusive preview of the documentary film about their adventures in Europe, The View from Here, in a theater in Indiana, where Kevan lives.

Summer 2017

Reaching out

Kevan and his friends deliver their first custom backpack to a family in Colorado.

Summer 2017

Champions of Hope

Kevan and company attend the Global Genes Rare Disease conference and are honored as RARE Champions of Hope.

Winter 2018

The next adventure

Ready for another adventure, Kevan and his trusted companions set their sights eastward. An official announcement from We Carry Kevan reveals that the group is planning a trip to China and another fundraising campaign is launched.

Summer 2018

We carry Kevan... to China

The adventurers set off for the far east, to explore China for three weeks. Once again, Kevan's wheelchair stays at home while his faithful friends carry him in their custom WCK backpack.

Summer 2018

Guilin

The guys explore landmarks and visit local friends in Guilin.

Summer 2018

Luoyang

Kevan and friends visit a Show Hope center where they give backpacks to the nannies there so they can carry the children.

Summer 2018

Beijing

The WCK crew visit New Hope center and hike the Great Wall of China

Fall 2018

Pickler & Ben

Kevan and his fellow adventurers are featured on the Pickler & Ben talk show

Fall 2018

TedX

Kevan and the guys return to Ireland, where Kevan presents at TedX.

Spring 2019

Telling the story

Kevan’s book, We Carry Kevan, detailing his adventures around the world in the backpack, is published by Hachette Book Group.

Summer 2019

Carrying each other... worldwide

We Carry Kevan receives its first bulk inventory of the WCK Backpack and starts shipping them to families around the world.

Fall 2019

Sharing the mission

Kevan and his sister Connie speak together for the first time at Hutchmoot.

Spring 2020

Building the community

Eager to grow the WCK community, We Carry Kevan hires its first staff member, Connie, to oversee Family Support and Engagement.

Fall 2020

Something happened on the way to China...

While travelling in China, Kevan found a new friend in another American who worked with non-profits in China. Her name is Katie. Two years later, through God's abundant grace, they became man and wife! You can read more of the story on Kevan's blog.

Winter 2020

Going on tour

Kevan and the WCK Team visit backpack recipients in Louisiana, Alabama, northern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina on their first Family Tour.

Summer 2021

Better together

Kevan and the WCK Team visit backpack recipients in Colorado and have their first WCK Family Group Hike, with multiple participants being carried in WCK Backpacks.

Summer 2021

We Carry Kevan on film

We Carry Kevan hosts the first online screenings of the Europe and China documentary films: The View from Here and We Carry Kevan in China.

Fall 2021

Christian Alliance for Orphans

Kevan speaks on the main stage at CAFO, along with two breakout sessions.
Onward we go...
@routes