An inspirational teenager in the U.S is pretty knackered today after walking an incredible 57 miles with his brother on his back to raise awareness for cerebral palsy.
Hunter Gandee, 15, carried his 8-year-old brother Braden, who has the congenital disease, for the tremendous distance in Michigan over the weekend.
Hunter’s ‘Cerebral Palsy Swagger’ trek began at Braden’s school in Lambertville, Michigan on Friday and he finally crossed the finish line at the University of Michigan’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Center in Ann Arbor on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking to ABC News, Hunter said:
I wanted to show people the struggles that Braden has to go through daily. I wanted to go out and show people we can make the world a better place for people with cerebral palsy. We had such a great success last summer when I carried Braden 40 miles that I wanted to try it again and make it even further.
If it weren’t for everyone cheering and walking with us, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I collapsed at the end of the second day because I was so tired. My legs were so sore but my friends picked me up and I made it through the third day.
Hunter is used to carrying his brother into places like supermarkets, saying it’s more convenient than Braden’s walker. Last June, Hunter carried Braden for 40 miles on his first trek but he wanted to go even better this time around.
Hunter and Braden had rest stops set up every 3 miles on their trek, where physical therapists would check on the duo and stretch out their tight muscles. Hunter said he rotated between three different harnesses that helped disperse the weight of Braden’s 60lbs body.
Since last year’s walk, Hunter has helped raise around $130,000 (£85,000) for a new playground at Braden’s school which has ramps accessible to Braden’s walker and rubber flooring.
There’s so much more to be done for people with cerebral palsy. The walk was long and hard, but worth it.
What an incredible brother! The world needs more people like this guy, as far as we’re concerned.