Stephen Hawking inspired millions through science and how he fought ALS

Stephen Hawking once said his advice to other disabled people would be to concentrate on things your disability doesn't prevent you from doing well and don't regret the thing it interferes with.

A 30-year-old man from Port St. Lucie took that advice to heart. 

Chris Carr was 28-years-old when he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS.  He's now 30 and said he focuses on what he can still do...talk and breathe. 

Carr got married less than two years ago and had big plans. 

"It really put a damper on my life. I wanted to get married, get a house, have kids," he said. "Fortunately I am married and have a house, but we passed on having kids because we don’t know how this is going to play out."

Just this week, Carr came to grips with the fact he's in a wheelchair full time after a bad fall sent him to the hospital. 

"I can’t just get up and hop in my truck and go to Dunkin' Donuts and grab a coffee whenever I want," said Carr. "I have to rely on other people."

Stephen Hawking's passing this week has brought the disease to the forefront. He lived with the diagnosis for more than 50 years. He once said, "don't be disabled in spirit, as well as physically."

"Doesn’t mean that you have to give up life, just seeing him living, you still have hope," Carr said. 

Carr said he takes pride in his wheelchair that raises up so he's at eye level with you---not looked down on.  He's learning how to use his head to drive it, just in case he loses the ability to use the joystick. 

"Seeing him be positive is the only thing that keeps me going. I knew I was going to start crying," said Tiffany Carr, Chris's wife as she wiped away tears. 

Ultimately he said it's his faith. 

"I know one day I won’t have to suffer anymore," said Carr. "I won’t be in a wheelchair."

Chris will be in the ALS Association's annual walk on Saturday at the Palm Beach Outlets.  He hopes that by sharing his story more people will turn out this weekend for the event.  His ultimate hope is a cure. 

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