Curtis Kyle drives wheelchair from Michigan to Washington
The journey for Curtis Kyle, a 52-year-old Taylor, Mich. resident who lives with cerebral palsy, has been a difficult one.
The one he took in his motorized wheelchair from the Detroit suburb to Washington over the past 20 days is a different story.
Kyle rolled 520 miles over the past three weeks, leaving Michigan on June 14 and arriving at the White House late Wednesday in an attempt to meet with President Barack Obama. It's an attempt to raise awareness for the legalization of cannabis, which many cerebral palsy suffferers use as treatment.
He says that if he doesn't use medical marijuana on a daily basis, the side effects of his disease become a problem.
"If I don't use it on a daily basis, my muscles spasm," he said.
Like most efforts of endurance, this journey was born from grief. His father, who walked the same route from Michigan to Washington in 1979 in support of marijuana legalization, died in 2011 of cancer.
Taylor believes the marijuana he smoked during the final years of his life made his death a bit more tolerable.
"I feel he's with me every day of my life, and he protected me throughout this journey," he said.
A hat belonging to his late father sat on Taylor's head throughout the journey. As he neared the White House at the end of his trek, the weight of his travels lifted as the miles of bumpy sidewalks and searing summer heat fated.
"Yes, father, we made it," he said. "I really can't believe we did this. I know I had a guardian angel up there watching over me.
"It was well worth the trip."