In an inspiring effort to promote awareness about cerebral palsy, 14-year-old Hunter Gandee walked 40 miles while carrying his younger brother Braden, who was born with the muscular disorder, in a harness on his back.
Seven-year-old Braden cannot walk on his own, and typically uses a walker, braces or a power chair. On Saturday, he relied on his brother.
After a celebratory send off at Bedford Junior High, the Gandee boys made the two-day journey from Temperance, Michigan to Ann Arbor.
Hunter and Braden enjoyed pleasant weather Saturday, but endured rain and cold on Sunday. An exhausted Hunter admitted that he even considered ending the walk with about 10 miles left. “Braden’s legs — the chafing was getting pretty bad. We did have to consider stopping,” he explained to the Associated Press.
A phone call to Hunter from a friend who told him that he was praying for the brothers helped to motivate the boys to keep going.
When the boys finally reached the walk’s finish line at the University of Michigan’s wrestling center, Hunter victoriously lifted Braden in the air, and the crowd of supporters showered the two with applause.
Reflecting upon the meaning of the walk, Hunter said, “I really just wanted to give back to him in some way.”
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