Q&A: Disabled Teen and Family Prepare to Tackle the Grand Canyon

Arizona Highways

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 11.05.42 AM “He is always asking me why people keep helping, and does that mean everyone loves him? Then he just smiles really big.” — Jill Castle

When Jill Castle’s son, Anthony, 14, asked his mother to help him cross off an item on his bucket list — he wanted to hike into the Grand Canyon— Castle didn’t hesitate. On its face, this might seem like a relatively easy request. Anthony, however, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). According to Castle, DMD is “the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed in childhood,” and life expectancy is “approximately 20 years.”

Around the time Anthony transitioned into a wheelchair, the nonprofit organization Daring Adventures came into the Castles’ lives. “I realized they were the perfect teammate to make this happen,” Castle says. On May 3, Anthony, with the help of several volunteers and his family, will descend the Grand Canyon. Below, Castle talks about their upcoming trek…

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