If there’s a better big brother in the world than Hunter Gandee, we’d like to meet him.
Fifteen-year-old Hunter, from Michigan USA, this week completed a gruelling 57-mile charity walk to raise awareness of cerebral palsy, a condition that affects his younger brother, Braden. What made the three-day walk unique was that Hunter carried eight-year-old Braden on his back the entire way.
“I’ve seen what my brother has to do and struggle with in everyday life,”Hunter said afterwards. “Walking is his biggest struggle, and we wanted to show people that.
“There are things that Braden struggles with, but there are things that we can do [to help]. It’s up to my generation to change things and make the world more accessible.”
Friends and family accompanied the brothers on their journey, and as news of the “Cerebral Palsy Swagger” spread, crowds gathered to cheer them on.
“We had never planned for it to be this big,” Hunter said. “At first, I just wanted to get my friends involved.”
The walk began at Braden’s school in Lambertville and ended at the University of Michigan Pediatric Rehabilitation Center in Ann Arbor, where Bradon is due to undergo surgery later this month.
Although the walk was not conceived as a fundraising exercise, Hunter has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to build a playground at Braden’s school which will be accessible to pupils with disabilities.
Cerebral palsy, which affects one in 400 people in the UK, is the general term for a number of neurological conditions that affect movement and co-ordination. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but physiotherapy and other therapies can often help people with the condition become more independent.