For most of us, feeling the sand beneath our toes as we search for the perfect waterfront spot to spend a beach day is something we regularly take for granted, sometimes even cursing the burning hot sand or bemoaning the cumbersome gear we carry. Some, however, who live with disabilities or physical limitations that keep them from that same voyage, can only dream about spending the day at the beach. Matt and Sara Carter want to change that for as many in our beach region as possible — and they’ve made it their mission to do so. As parents to son Mason, now 14, who was born with NGKY1, a rare genetic disorder that affects movement, they know first-hand the challenges facing disabled people. “Mason is the toughest person I know,” says Matt. As a lifelong lover of recreation, Matt’s local kayak and SUP rental business, Quest Adventures, is dedicated to just that — providing safe and memorable beach experiences.
“We have created so many wonderful memories because of donations. These people changed our
lives and we could never thank them enough.”
— Sara Carter
For years, Matt and his wife, Sara, who works full-time for Del Tech, struggled to find ways to give their son access to all the outdoor adventures they loved so much. When Mason was 7, a friend purchased a beach access chair for him. The couple stored it at Quest Adventures and it got the attention of interested customers. “At first, I just told them to borrow it and drop a few bucks in a Mason jar that we would later donate,” recalls Matt. “As demand grew, we decided to create Mason’s Mobility Mission.” Today, the mission is bigger than they ever thought and demand is daily. In addition to beach access chairs — which are designed with large, rubber pneumatic tires that more easily maneuver over the sand, some are equipped with flotation devices that allow the chair to be immersed in water. The organization has collaborated with other entities to provide additional equipment and services, which are all free to those who need it. Former Sen. Ernie Lopez and the City of Lewes helped purchase a beach access mat at Roosevelt Inlet in Lewes. Through a partnership with Lewes Cycle Sports, a Wike Bike Trailer designed specifically for people with special needs is available for reservation. Sara and Matt are thrilled their family, which includes three siblings to Mason, can now enjoy these activities together.
Whenever you do something for the betterment of others, it takes a lot of selfless work. “We are fortunate enough to have an incredible family, group of friends and community of people who were willing to help us improve the quality of Mason’s, and ultimately our lives, by donating,” says Sara.
As for hopes for the future, Matt and Sara’s dreams include a barrier-free playground and more beach mats. To take advantage of the equipment available through Mason’s Mobility Mission, or to donate, head to QuestKayak.com or MasonsMobilityMission.org.
SARA AND MATT’S LOCAL FAVS
- Restaurant Half Full
- Coffee spot Olive and Oats
- Lunch Stop N Go Taco
- Live music Wherever The Williams Brothers are playing.