- Disability for many people makes everything either inspiring or awkward – both for the one with disability and the people he meets
- For either parties, the reaction can make a world of difference, but for some people the personal desire is more important than how they are looked at
- Cooper Smith, 14, is the perfect example of a well-rounded person – smart, outgoing, and yes! wheelchair-bound
- This boy whose desire to see more of the world and experience firsthand the glories of traveling to many different countries on his wheelchair made the difference for himself all on his own
- By looking at him and his trademark wheelchair while he dreams of reaching his goal of 50 countries at 18 is nothing if not a blessing in itself
A teenage foodie with Cerebral Palsy is inspiring the world as he travels to 30 different countries in his wheelchair. Cooper Smith, aged 14, together with his entire family is showing everyone how they ‘just do it’ – even though they almost lost their daughter on a train in China.
Cooper has been diagnosed with Dystonic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy and he is using a wheelchair to get around. His birth conditions had complications that damaged his brain and impaired his mobility and speech, but even that did not stop him from displaying his intellectual ability while trotting all over the globe and sampling different cuisines across the world.
“I would never say any trip is impossible as we are pretty set on never saying never!”says Cooper’s mom, Bronwyn Leeks.
Bronwyn, Cooper’s mom, believes that planning and a positive outlook should be enough to travel. True enough, the Smith family has been posting stunning photos taken in various locations around the world, along with Cooper and his now-famous wheelchair.
“Of course [Cooper’s wheelchair] makes it difficult but honestly it’s what we know and what we do so it’s just part of the travel. Even though some days may be tough, we just do things a little differently and the challenge and achieving the goal outweighs the tough bits. In fact we find the destination is usually pretty accessible but it’s the getting there that is complicated.”Bronwyn explained.
She claims that Cooper’s ability to walk a little and self-transfer is handy when getting on a plane, but she clarifies that disabilities differ from one person to another so the needs may also vary.
According to some reports, the Smith family’s trips started when Cooper had to go to Singapore for some physical therapy when he was younger. They have explored about 30 countries in the past 7 years alone, and Cooper hopes to have visited 50 countries by the time he’s 18.
Cooper and his family’s love for new places, new people, and new foods along with their need to be together away from routine and normal life has been inspiring so many people. In Instagram alone, they have a whopping 14.1k followers waiting for their next family adventure.
He also named a few favorites which include Japan, South Korea, Finland and Mongolia. London in UK proved to be the most wheelchair accessible place he has visited, though.
The Smith family posted on their Instagram account that they are hoping to visit Myanmar and Bangkok next.
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