When Quan was 17, he had surgery to remove a tumor from his spine. The tumor was removed, but he suffered nerve damage in his spine and lost the use of his legs. When he took a customer service job in Beijing in 2013, he noticed there were not a lot of places that were wheelchair-friendly and every day was a challenge for him.
So far, Quan has been traveling for 570 days. He stated that he has found opposition during his travels. “Restaurant owners would refuse to take me in because they see me as a beggar,” Quan said. “I go to a hotel, they would tell me they are fully booked.”
Ultimately, Quan wants people with disabilities to fit in and be treated just like anyone else.
There are an estimated 85 million residents with disabilities in China. The country is working to improve access for individuals, but progress has been slow. Quan noted so far he hasn’t seen many hotel or restaurants with excellent accessibility as of yet, but he’s hoping as news continues to spread of his journey, awareness will continue to be raised.