Hes not heavy; hes my brother Hunter Gandee holds his brother Braden in a harness. Hunter set out on a 40-mile trek with his brother strapped to his back
Hes not heavy; hes my brother
Lexile

A 14-year-old boy set out on a 40-mile trek on Saturday. On his back was his 7-year-old brother.

The younger boy was strapped to his brother's back. They hope to raise awareness about the condition that prevents the younger boy from being able to walk without help.

Hunter Gandee, with 50-pound Braden strapped to his back, left from the parking lot of Bedford Junior High. They arrived Sunday at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Surrounding the Gandees were supporters who released balloons into the sky.

The walk was for the Cerebral Palsy Swagger. The goal is to raise awareness for the muscle disorder that afflicts Braden. Organizers of the event want to show the face of cerebral palsy to professionals. Hopefully, they will see the need for new ideas in mobility aides and medical procedures.

The walk has already gained quite a bit of attention.

"We've gotten contacted by the lead singer of Megadeth, and he's supporting us and donating. We've gotten contacted by the Detroit Tigers, and they're on board and supporting us. Whole bunches of different people," Hunter said.

Even students from a rival middle school, Jefferson, raised $700.

The family is not asking for donations. But for those interested, they are being directed to the University of Michigan Cerebral Palsy Research Program. Hunter raised $350 for the program through the sale of wristbands at his school.

Braden typically uses a walker, braces or a power chair to get around. On Saturday morning, the boy was all smiles from his position perched on his big brother's back.

Hunter, a 155-pound wrestler, said he trained by lifting weights. Braden had faith that Hunter would get them to Ann Arbor.

"My brother," he said, "is awesome."

Critical thinking challenge: How might Hunters walk help Braden right away, and in the future?

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COMMENTS (93)
  • RA3josethemexican
    6/09/2014 - 08:41 a.m.

    It might help him to walk by himself but it won't happen right away , he'll have to do it over and over so he can get use to it .

  • ksnow420
    6/09/2014 - 08:42 a.m.

    Hunter's walk will help Braden in the near future because his big brother is helping out his 7 year old brother. Braden will look up to his brother in the future and say thank you for helping me. It will be a very good experience if the boy could walk again you just have to stay positive and think about all the good things that will happen in the future.

  • amanda414
    6/09/2014 - 11:36 a.m.

    I think it is very sweet what he is doing for his brother. This probably give a lot of atton for the walk. There not many boys that would do this for there brother so this shows great love for one another.

  • SabrinaLance
    6/09/2014 - 12:00 p.m.

    This is Amazing.! You can see the Love between them. There are amazing people in this world and these 2 boys are truly some of them. they learn to support and challange and over come any obsticales in there way.! Im veryt proud to say I live in a country with such amazing people.

  • kf24smile
    6/09/2014 - 01:00 p.m.

    I think Hunter's walk will help Braden out in the future because in the future their will be more technology to help him walk and deal with his disability.

  • Brandon1231-YYCA
    6/09/2014 - 03:40 p.m.

    I think that this brother is really nice because he was holding his brother all the way through the walk. I think that this brother should have been tried, but he loves his brother and the younger brother needs him too. They are connected and they cannot be spread away. I wish that I can have a brother like him. I hope that this older brother can do what he needs to do with his brother. I think that having a brother like this is awesome because your brother can do everything for you because the loves you. A brother that loves you is better then a brother who hates you. I think that having this person help his younger brother is a gift. Other brothers just leave them behind and they can't do anything.

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    6/09/2014 - 03:59 p.m.

    I think that it is great that Hunter wants to care for Braden. Most older brothers won't really care for their brothers who have a disorder. So I think that Braden is very lucky. I also think Braden is happy that he has a very kind loving brother. I also hope that Braden knows how kind Hunter is, and also how much Hunter wants to help him.
    Critical thinking challenge: How might Hunters walk help Braden right away, and in the future?
    Answer: Hunter's walk helped Braden right away because with Hunter showing how much he wants to help tells Braden to get better quick.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    6/09/2014 - 04:17 p.m.

    I think this is amazing because Hunter carried Braden on his back for a distance of 40 miles!! That is an amazing feat. 50 pounds is heavy, although I can carry Brandon on my back for a short amount of time. I couldn't walk for 40 miles. I would just walk away from the 40 mile trek. But Hunter has accomplished it with 50 pounds on his back!!
    Critical thinking challenge: How might Hunters walk help Braden right away, and in the future?
    Answer: Hunter's walk may help Braden because it may have raised awareness of cerebral palsy swagger.

  • John0724-YYCA
    6/09/2014 - 04:22 p.m.

    The brother should lost a lot of weight n that mile walk while carrying his little brother. And it was really nice that he carried his little brother all the way. I wonder how he felt doing that long walk with his little brother? He should have felt really tired carrying his fifty pound little brother on his back. I wish I had a brother like that. The little brother should be lucky to have a brother like that.

  • SavannahM-3
    6/09/2014 - 07:33 p.m.

    This article is about a 14-year-old boy named Hunter Gandee. Hunter walked a 40 mile trek with his 50-pound brother strapped to his back. Hunter said he was walking the trek to raise awareness of a disability that prevents Bradon(his little brother) from walking. The two made it all the way to the end of the race from Bedford Junior High to University of Michigan in Ann Harbor. Hunter is 155 pounds and trained for this walk by lifting weights. This is an amazing story and i think it is really amazing that hunter would do something so amazing for his little brother.

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