Imagine you’re going to see your favourite band – Queens of the Stone Age.
Imagine how it would feel to be upfront, jumping and thrashing to every riff.
Now imagine how much harder this all would be if you were in a wheelchair.
Faced with this dilemma, rock-loving Paralympian Dylan Alcott pinned his hopes on the power of & and to get the best seats in the house.
And did he ever.
The raucous concertgoers raised a wheelchair-bound Dylan above their heads for the crowd surfing experience of a lifetime, before carrying him on stage as the US rock legends finished their huge track, No One Knows. Dylan has since achieved the feat numerous times, thanks to the enthusiastic hands of those around him.
It continues an inspirational story for Dylan, who was left a paraplegic after the removal of a tumour wrapped around his spinal cord at birth. Despite this, Dylan has gone on to achieve amazing things, from reaching number 4 in the junior world wheelchair tennis rankings, to winning a wheelchair basketball gold medal at the Paralympics.
On the surface they may be remarkable individual achievements, but for Dylan, there’s something much more profound at play – a desire to be no different than the next person.
He received a standing ovation for his talk on how we should treat disabled people like everyone else. And as his wheelchair lifted above the crowd and up onto the stage, for that one moment, we did.
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