Braden and Hunter Gandee already had a special brotherly bond. But it was made all the stronger this weekend.
Seven-year-old Braden was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that makes the muscles in his legs difficult to control. He wears braces and can only walk with the aid of a walker. For years, his 14-year-old brother Hunter has been like a “second pair of legs” to Braden, their mom, Danielle Gandee, said. Hunter picks Braden up and carries him piggyback-style whenever the little guy needs a lift.
On Saturday, the two brothers set off on a 40-mile journey from their hometown near the Michigan-Ohio border to the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor -- with Braden once again on Hunter’s back -- to raise awareness about cerebral palsy.
It sure got people talking.
All along the route people joined in and cheered them on. Kids held up hand-made signs.
The brothers called their walk the "Cerebral Palsy Swagger." It was not designed to raise money, though they encourage people who do want to contribute financially to CP research to go to the Cerebral Palsy Research Consortium of Michigan, based at the University of Michigan.
Instead, the Gandee boys are simply hoping their journey will prompt researchers to find better ways to help children with CP.
"We just want people to know about cerebral palsy," Hunter Gandee said. "There are a lot of people out there who have never heard of cerebral palsy. And then there is also a lot of people who have heard about cerebral palsy, but they're not really sure what exactly it is. We're just trying to inform them."
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