Hunter Gandee, a fifteen year old boy from Michigan has completed on Friday a 57 mile walk throughout the state while carrying his little brother Braden on his back the whole way. The teen completed the walk to raise awareness for cerebral palsy, an acute movement disorder from which Braden has been suffering until birth, rendering him incapable to walk.
Hunter, who carried his brother in a fixed harness on his back, started his trek in Lambertville, Monroe County and finished it Sunday afternoon just in front of the Michigan Pediatric Rehabilitation Center in the city of Ann Arbor. On the final leg of the walk Hunter and Braden were accompanied by family and school friends.
This has not been the first time that Hunter carried his brother on a long awareness walk; last year, the two brothers successfully finished a 40 mile hike from their home in Temperance to the pediatric center in Ann Arbor.
Even though the event, which was named the “Cerebral Palsy Swagger” wasn’t planned as a fundraiser but more as an awareness campaign, Hunter’s 2014 trek ended up in him raising over $200,000 in donations which was be used for the construction of new handicap-friendly playground at Braden’s elementary school in Lambertville.
The new playground, named the CP Swagger Shipyard, represented the starting point of this year’s trek and will likely keep that status for further possible editions. The boys’ mother Danielle Gandee also acknowledged and praised the role which the other two sibling – the boy’s sister Kerragan and their brother Kellen – played in the campaign, even helping out with setting and testing the playground.
Cerebral palsy is a permanent disorder which affects locomotive functions and usually develops in early childhood, while some children might also be born with it. Depending on its variations, children who suffer from it may experience a long range of symptoms ranging from stiff or weak muscles to partial loss of senses or seizures.
According to statistics from the CDC, cerebral palsy is the most frequent movement disability syndrome which can develop during childhood, and between 1.5 and 4 from every 1.000 children will be born with one form of the disease. More than 30 percent of children who are born with cerebral palsy or develop it in early childhood lose their ability to walk, while another 11 percent will become constrained to using mobility devices.
Image Source: Monroenews