Hunter Gandee, a fourteen-year-old from Michigan, has begun a 40-mile trek while carrying his seven-year-old, 50-lb brother on his back. Braden Gandee, who is a first grader, has cerebral palsy and typically uses braces, a walker, or a power chair to get around.
The walk, which aims to raise awareness for the condition, began this morning at Bedford Junior High School in Temperance, Michigan. The pair hope to arrive on Sunday at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
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Called the Cerebral Palsy Swagger, the trek’s goal is to raise awareness for the muscle disorder that afflicts Braden and to grab the attention of the next generation of leaders, doctors, engineers and entrepreneurs and show them the face of cerebral palsy and the need for new ideas in mobility aides and medical procedures.
The family isn’t asking for donations for the walk, but rather ask that anyone interested in helping send donations to the University of Michigan Cerebral Palsy Research Program.
The walk has gotten quite a bit of attention, drawing in donations from Dave Mustaine, the lead singer of Megadeth, as well as from the Detroit Tigers.
But how did the teen get ready for such a feat? With training, of course.
Hunter, a 155-pound wrestler, said he trained by lifting weights and staying active. He predicted that the love and support he received at the rally and in the days and weeks preceding it will “push us through.”
You can even follow the walk yourself through Twitter at @The_CP_Swagger for updates on the brothers’ progress.