There’s something healing about being out in the great outdoors. Whether it’s processing a loss, contemplating challenging circumstances, or just wanting to experience the beauty, peace, and joy that God’s creation can bring, being on the trails is a blessing.
One Colorado couple who seem to have caught on is Kristy and TJ Cook.
Their son Robbie Cook was born with a rare form of epilepsy. According to The Epoch Times, Robbie suffers from daily seizures, is nonverbal and cognitively delayed.
However, Robbie’s loving parents were determined that these challenges wouldn’t stop them from enjoying the beauty of the national parks with their son.
When Robbie was a baby, his mother Kristy was able to strap on a child’s backpack and the family had a little more freedom.
A loving Colorado father, determined to show his 7-year-old disabled son the world over, straps on the kid’s backpack and carries it through each of their outdoor adventures.
Robbie Cook was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy as an infant. pic.twitter.com/yGLcRn5NWr
— Mike Izzo (@izzorv6) September 15, 2022
As Robbie has grown, this has become more of a challenge. He is now 7 years old and too heavy for Kristy to carry. So Robbie’s father, TJ, is now the one who carries Robbie on his back along the trails and to other adventures when places are less wheelchair accessible.
“We’ve always been an outdoorsy and adventurous family,” Kristy, 32, told The Epoch Times. “As Robbie grew up and was confined to a wheelchair, we began to feel limited as to what we could plan for as a family.”
Kristy is aware of the challenge TJ faces when carrying the 60-pound Robbie on his back. She is deeply grateful that he is willing and able to do so.
“Carrying a 60 pound child on your back for two hours is tough. But it’s watching my husband smile. He never hears him complain that it’s hard or that he’s tired. No concerns.
“He’s really enjoying the quality time with our son and Robbie absolutely glows when he’s able to explore with his dad’s legs.”
There is quite a bit of planning that goes into their outdoor excursions.
“Robbie is strictly gastronomic tube fed four times a day, requires full assistance transferring from his accessible car seat to his wheelchair or RV, daily medication, vital products, bathing; the list goes on,” Kristy said. “Is it a lot of juggling and packing? Yes, it really is. But it’s worth it!”
He has been on some medications since childhood and even underwent brain surgery to try and solve some of his health issues.
Kristy and TJ have two other children. Mason, 22, and Nikki, 9.
One thing that has helped the family immensely on their travels is an RV they received from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The children’s charity helps to make the wishes of children with incurable or serious illnesses come true.
In two years, the family was able to visit 13 states and 27 national parks.
“I see how strangers react to them on the trail,” Kristy said. “Originally our goal was to show Robbie to the world, but I quickly realized that the world needed to see Robbie too.”
The chefs have grown and developed a community to support other parents of special needs children who want to get out and enjoy the beauty of nature with them. They have created an online platform that includes both blog posts and videos designed to provide practical insight and encourage others.
The post A Man After God’s Own Heart – Family Preaches About Adventure While Carrying Disabled Son On Their Back was first published in Western Journal.
https://www.westernjournal.com/man-gods-heart-family-preaches-adventures-carrying-disabled-son-back/ A Man After God's Own Heart – Family Preaches About Adventures While Carrying Disabled Son on Back