To walk 57 miles sounds extremely tough. To walk 57 miles with your brother on your back sounds even tougher. But for 15-year-old Hunter Gandee every mile is worth his time. He carries his 8-year-old little brother Braden to raise awareness and knowledge about people with cerebral palsy (CP).
Hunter started his walk on Friday with little brother Braden on his back and Sunday afternoon they had walked 57 miles. Hunter started walking at Braden’s school in Lambertville, Michigan, and finished at the University of Michigans Pediatric Rehabilitation Center in Ann Arbor.
– I wanted to show people the struggles that Braden has to go through daily. I wanted to go out and show people we can make the world a better place for people with cerebral palsy, he said, Hunter told ABC News.
This is not the first time Hunter carried Braden. Braden, who was born with cerebral palsy, have a hard time walking around on his own and at that point Braden can use Hunter’s back for transportation.
Last year, Hunter performed a similar walk but “only” for 40 miles.
This time they had rest stops set up every 3 miles, where physical therapists would check on the duo. A lot of people joined the three-day long walk and many more cheered for them along the way. It was a tough journey for Hunter to disperse Braden’s 60-pound body.
– If it weren’t for everyone cheering and walking with us, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I collapsed at the end of the second day because I was so tired. My legs were so sore, but my friends picked me up and I made it through the third day, Hunter said.
Together with his mom, Hunter founded the Facebook group Cerebral Palsy Swagger, which also is the name of the walk.
With his walks, Hunter has helped raise around $130,000. Among other things, it provided for a new playground that has ramps accessible to Braden’s walker at Douglas Road Elementary School, where Braden attend.
Everyone deserves a big brother like Hunter! It touches my heart when I see what he does for his brother and his will to change. The least thing I can do is sharing this story that more people can learn more on cerebral palsy. Hopefully, we can crush some biases! You can read more here.
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