It was a life-changing moment as a 36-year-old man with cerebral palsy visited the beach for the first time.
David Thomas, who was born with cerebral palsy, hadn’t left his Alabama home for more than 20 years and hoped to one day experience the beach for himself.
His wheelchair, however, is ill-equipped to navigate sandy terrain and he lives some 250 miles from the nearest ocean.
But his best friend, Izas Fuller, knew how much it meant to Thomas.
“We meet at least once a week and we talk almost every day,” Fuller told Caters News. “I just really wanted him to experience firsthand what it’s like to be in such a beautiful place.”
Fuller, 31, was vacationing with his family two years ago when he posted a photo of himself fishing at the beach, prompting David to comment, “I wish I could’ve went with y’all.”
The comment stuck with Fuller and he wanted to make a way for his friend’s wish to come true.
After rallying together some friends on Facebook, Fuller managed to raise $170 to hire a specially equipped all-terrain wheelchair for David for two days.
On July 22, 2018, the friends headed to the beach together.
“At 36 years old, I am on the beach,” Thomas said in a video of the moment. “This is the best summer vacation ever in my life.”
When the hire company caught wind of Fuller’s intentions, they even gave David an extra two days with the wheelchair free of charge.
“I’m never going to forget about this for as long as I live,” Thomas said. “[Seeing] the beach was absolutely breathtaking.”