Brotherly love does not begin to describe the bond between Hunter and Braden Gandee. This weekend, the Michigan brothers embarked on a 40-mile walk to raise awareness about cerebral palsy, a muscular disorder that 7-year-old Braden suffers from. In order to complete the walk together, 14-year-old Hunter had to strap his younger brother to his back and carry him from their hometown of Temperance, MI, to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The idea for the walk, which the Gandree brothers dubbed the Cerebral Palsy Swagger, came from a dream the boys' mother, Danielle, had.
"One night my mother had a dream of me carrying Braden from our house to Mackinac," Hunter tells a local news station. "She shared the story with me, and we liked the generally idea of it."
So after two months of training, which involved weight lifting and cardio, the two embarked on their 40-mile mission. Hunter admits that there were times during the walk, which took more than 30 hours to complete, that he wanted to stop. But knowing how much this meant to family, friends, and members of the cerebral palsy community helped them reach the finish line.
"We get letters and pictures of kids thanking us for bringing awareness to the world for showing what cerebral palsy is, and making connections for everybody," Danielle says. "It's just huge. It makes me proud."