Boy with muscular dystrophy gets help to hike dream

Anthony Castle of Arizona wanted to dip his toes into the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. So his family and a crew of volunteers carried him down there.

A 14-year-old boy who can’t walk nonetheless made it 10 ragged miles to the floor of the Grand Canyon, where his fondest wish was granted: He got to sink his feet into the emerald waters of the Colorado River.

Anthony Castle, who was diagnosed at age 3 with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, was carried down a twisting, switchback trail by volunteers who rotated every 20 minutes. It took six hours to make it to the belly of the breathtakingly beautiful crevasse.

The look of pure joy on Castle’s face as he squished his toes into the wet river bed said it all.
The kindness of strangers helped Anthony Castle, 14, reach the bottom of the Grand Canyon, even though he can’t walk. Volunteers carried him 10 miles to the canyon floor, where he got to put his feet in the Colorado River, one of his fondest dreams.

The kindness of strangers helped Anthony Castle, 14, reach the bottom of the Grand Canyon, even though he can’t walk. Volunteers carried him 10 miles to the canyon floor, where he got to put his feet in the Colorado River, one of his fondest dreams.

“He’s so happy and good,” mom Jill Castle told KPNX-TV. “He’s always the most adventurous one. He’s always the one that’s like, ‘Come on, let’s go.”’
“I have to remind him he’s in a chair and we’re not,” she joked.

About 30 people helped get Castle to his dream spot. He traveled in a modified wheelchair device, bolstered by long poles the carriers gripped on their way down.

Castle lost his ability to walk a few months ago. His strain of muscular dystrophy, which nearly always strikes boys, leaves him in constant need of having his oxygen monitored and his limbs stretched. Paramedics accompanied him on his hike.

Anthony Castle of Arizona wanted to dip his toes into the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. So his family and a crew of volunteers carried him down there.

Anthony Castle of Arizona wanted to dip his toes into the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. So his family and a crew of volunteers carried him down there.


At least 30 people, many of them strangers, helped 14-year-old Anthony Castle of Arizona realize his dream of putting his feet in the Colorado River at the base of the Grand Canyon.At least 30 people, many of them strangers, helped 14-year-old Anthony Castle of Arizona realize his dream of putting his feet in the Colorado River at the base of the Grand Canyon.PreviousNextAt least 30 people, many of them strangers, helped 14-year-old Anthony Castle of Arizona realize his dream of putting his feet in the Colorado River at the base of the Grand Canyon. Anthony Castle, after a 10-mile hike down the Grand Canyon, got to put his feet into the Colorado River. The 14-year-old boy, who is wheelchair-bound, had dreamed of being able to squish his toes in the river bottom. Anthony Castle, bottom right, poses with his parents and brother after being carried to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the 14-year-old boy can no longer walk. Enlarge

The group camped out overnight at the canyon bottom. It took more than two days to hike out, going uphill, and carriers were rotated in more often. Hikers and onlookers cheered as the boy went past. He was grinning from ear to ear.

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