Authors of ‘I’ll Push You’ to Deliver Michael Lester Wendt Character Lecture

Jan 27, 2020

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Two friends who took on what seemed like an impossible journey – making a 500-mile pilgrimage in Spain with one friend pushing the other in his wheelchair – will present the Michael Lester Wendt Character Lecture at 7 p.m. Monday, March 2, in John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center on the University of Dubuque campus.

Best-selling authors Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray will present “I’ll Push You.” The lecture is free to attend and open to the public. The friends will explore concepts of leadership, teamwork, relationships, and the power of the human collective as they share their incredible story of friendship and adventure on the Camino de Santiago.

For over 42 years, Skeesuck and Gray have sought to live without reservation despite the challenges of a progressive neuromuscular disease that robbed Skeesuck the use of his arms and legs. Their book and award-winning documentary, I’ll Push You, tells the story of their powerful friendship as they undertake the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage, with Gray pushing Skeesuck in his wheelchair across the expansive terrain of northern Spain. Their journey brings to light the strength of humanity as friends and strangers help Skeesuck and Gray accomplish a feat that many thought could not be done.

Expanding on their story, the friends have spoken to over 200,000 individuals and created courses and curriculum that pushes individuals to accept differences and strengthen communities. The Push: A Story of Friendship, their best-selling children’s book, retells the story of Skeesuck and Gray’s epic journey in a manner that grants children access to their experience. Their second book, Imprints: the Evidence our Lives Leave Behind, explores the impact even our smallest choices make on the world.

Skeesuck and Gray have been featured across the globe on shows such as NBC’s Today Show, Megyn Kelly Today, The Meredith Vieira Show, Fox & Friends, and Harry on CBS. Furthermore, they have given a TEDx talk and been featured on The Huffington Post, Upworthy, and Yahoo News.

The lecture is presented by UD’s Wendt Center for Character Education.