Hunter Gandee is doing it again, this time it will be a longer, harder struggle. He plans to walk a total of 57 miles, all while carrying his 8-year-old brother Braden strapped to his back to raise awareness of cerebral palsy, the disorder that left his little brother unable to walk. Gandee calls the event the “Cerebral Palsy Swagger.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Hunter Gandee from Michigan made a similar journey last year, walking 40 miles and succeeding in bringing attention to the condition.
According to the New York Daily News, this year’s Cerebral Palsy Swagger will go from Lambertville — more specifically, from a playground at Braden’s elementary school — to Ann Arbor. The two are scheduled to finish 15 miles by Friday evening.
The AP caught up with Gandee while he was just starting his journey. The 15-year-old explained it wasn’t tough so far.
“It’s been tough, but it’s not as hard — so far — as it will be in the coming days. As we add on more miles, it’s going to wear on us more, but we are prepared this time.”
Last year, the two traveled from their hometown of Temperance to Ann Harbor, which was only 40 miles. Hunter Gandee also explained why they were making the trip.
“We want to spread the story about what we’re doing and what they can do for people who have cerebral palsy. These are normal people and they are just trying to live their lives, too.”
Cerebral Palsy is the most common form of motor disability in childhood, according to the CDC. About one in every 323 children has some form of CP, even though some may not even be fully aware of it.
Despite the commonality of the condition, even it’s basic definition is widely misunderstood. Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders that affect peoples’ ability to move and stand, caused by abnormal brain development or brain damage before, during or immediately after childbirth.
The majority (58 percent) of children about Braden’s age can walk despite having Cerebral Palsy, according to a CDC study. Nevertheless, there are government services and support for children with CP starting at birth through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Hunter Gandee’s journey to spread the word about the condition may lead parents to the support they need.
Gandee reportedly posted a video on Facebook, along with pictures and full details on the route, and asked people to wish them luck.
“Keep us in mind and keep us in your prayers this weekend, as we will be going through difficult times throughout this walk, and we truly believe the power of prayer works.”
Hunter Gandee is scheduled to finish his walk on Sunday.
[Image via Chris Asadian/AP]