Travel
Inspiring traveler explores all 7 continents in a wheelchair
He took a hot air balloon ride over the Caribbean, zip-lined over alligator-infested waters, and rode a camel in Africa...all while being "wheelchair-bound."
Eduardo Gaskell
10.13.21

Cory Lee has been to all seven continents in a wheelchair. You read that right.

30-year-old Cory has spinal muscular atrophy. He was diagnosed at a very young age so, at 4, Cory began using a wheelchair. His mom, Sandy Gilbreath, raised him on her own.

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Sandy wanted her son to enjoy life regardless of his condition.

She worked as a teacher and when summer came around, she made sure to take Cory on road trips. That ignited a passion in her son. A passion Cory would carry, resulting in him wanting to visit all seven continents.

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Cory and Sandy were able to visit Antarctica in February of 2020. Just in time before the pandemic closed borders.

“We were on the last cruise to Antarctica [before borders closed],” Cory told Good Morning America. “It was surreal. There were icebergs, mountains of ice, penguins. It was everything you would imagine and more. I was moved to tears.”

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Cory says traveling requires a lot of research and planning given his condition.

Antarctica was booked two years in advance. Cory takes about a year ahead of the trip just for planning. He makes sure the places he visits are accessible and won’t be difficult for a person in a wheelchair.

That includes calling hotels and tourist spots to confirm that they really are wheelchair-friendly as they claim to be. Cory puts in the effort to avoid future problems when traveling.

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Cory wanted to help other travelers with disabilities see the world as he did. The Curb Free with Cory Lee blog is his way to reach out to fellow travelers. It’s an impressive blog!

Antarctica and Morocco are Cory’s favorites. And he’s been to 37 countries!

“I didn’t have high expectations of Morocco,” he said. “But the alleyways of Marrakesh, the snake charmers, it blew me away.”

Cory’s determination and hard work paid off. His travels are detailed in his blog and it will trigger the travel bug in you!

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Who wouldn’t want to ride a camel in the Sahara Desert?

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Cory got to float in the Caribbean Sea, and even fly on wheelchair-accessible hot air balloons. He flew over Las Vegas, Israel, and Spain!

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How about zip-lining across an alligator-infested lake? Cory did it in Orlando’s Gatorland with the help of a special sling!

His adventures were made possible with the help of companies who went out of their way to ensure Cory had the time of his life. There are more and more companies who make sure that they are wheelchair friendly. It’s about time too!

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Cory and Sandy wrote a children’s book titled, “Let’s Explore with Cor Cor.” The book tells of a boy’s adventures as he travels the world in a powered wheelchair. Go grab a copy!

On June 26, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed. It was on that same date that the book was released.

“Traveling to all seven continents wasn’t something I was sure was going to be possible,” he said. “But if you stay determined and keep a positive attitude, the opportunities are limitless.”

37 countries down with lots more on that list. Cory and Sandy are surely making a lot of plans as we speak!

Check out Cory’s YouTube channel for all his travel videos!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Eduardo Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Eduardo Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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