People with disabilities looking to Carolina Beach for vacation options

People with disabilities looking to Carolina Beach for vacation options

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Bob Kensekco is a snowbird from Maine who has spent the last three months vacationing in Carolina Beach.

Finding the right place to travel for Kensekco isn’t easy. A spinal cord injury, after a two story fall about 15 years ago, has left him in a wheelchair.

“I have mobility issues, there’s no denying that," Kensekco said. “But I stay positive. You gotta do what you gotta do.”

Carolina Beach is a North Carolina beach vacation that continues to tap into a market, long ignored.

“If you’re going to reserve a beach wheelchair, I suggest sooner rather than later,” said Eric Jelinski, who’s with the the town’s recreation department. “They’re very popular. Our goal, here, in Carolina Beach is to be one the most accessible beaches in the Southeast.”

The town has more than half a dozen beach cruisers for people with disabilities who need handicapped access. Kure Beach also has beach wheelchairs to offer guests.

“I think it’s fantastic. After all, Carolina Beach is my happy place," Lorraine Woodward said. “I just want as many people to know about my little secret as they possibly can.”

Woodward, lives in Raleigh, but has a beach house in Carolina Beach that is 100% handicap accessible - 36” doors, open kitchen, bedroom with hospital bed, a wheel in shower and elevator.

“Oh, it makes an enormous difference. I’ve met people who’ve never taken vacation because of their handicap. Now they can," Woodward said of her townhouse that she named “Hakuna Matata.”

Woodward is excited to see her place being used by people all over the country.

“I wanted to provide an opportunity for other people to enjoy the beach, particularly those with limited mobility and at the end of life," Woodward explained.

“Oh, this has just been terrific. There’s been no stress at all," said Konsekco, who plans to be a repeat customer. “It’s really been a terrific vacation and I plan to come back.”

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