This Teen Is Planning to Carry His Younger Brother on a 40-Mile Journey

The word “extraordinary” is overused on the internet — but the bond between two brothers from Temperance, Mich., is truly extraordinary.

Hunter Gandee is just 14 years old, but he already knows what he wants to be when he grows up — a researcher, so he can help people with cerebral palsy, the neurological disorder his 7-year-old brother, Braden, lives with. In the meantime, he’s spreading CP awareness with a journey that’s making national headlines. In June, he’ll walk 40 miles over two days, from Bedford Junior High School to the University of Michigan — with Braden on his back.

“The walk demonstrates the physical and mental challenges faced every day by those affected by cerebral palsy,” Hunter’s Facebook page, “Cerebral Palsy Swagger,” reads. “But with support, assistance, and a good attitude, all goals are within reach.”

Hunter’s begun to get the word out and raise money by making “Cerebral Palsy Awareness” bracelets. He’s already earned $350, according to The Toledo Blade. On the day of the walk, while his parents drive alongside, he hopes to do more than raise money — he wants to grab the attention of  “up and coming leaders, doctors, engineers and entrepreneurs, and show them the face of cerebral palsy and the need for innovative ideas in mobility aides and medical procedures.”

“Braden is the world to me. He’s done so much for me. He inspires me, helps me fight through problems,” Hunter told Bedford Now. “People say I’m helping Braden out but sometimes it seems like he’s helped me more than I’ve helped him. I don’t know where I’d be without him.”

Braden must feel the same way.

If you’re interested in making a donation, head to the University of Michigan Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department’s Cerebral Palsy Research Fund.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.