Cerebral Palsy in the News: A 57-Mile Walk for Awareness
Awareness walks can be a powerful tool in raising awareness for cerebral palsy, a condition that results from injuries to a child's brain during birth or while in the womb. In the case of 15-year-old Hunter Gandee, however, the walk went a step further: Hunter strapped Braden, his 8-year-old brother who is afflicted with cerebral palsy, to his back, and proceeded to trek 57 miles across southern Michigan.
According to an article on CNN.com, Hunter completed the walk as a part of the awareness walk he planned, called Cerebral Palsy Swagger. Hunter has said that "walking is [Braden's] biggest struggle" and that he wanted to show people that. Many participated in the walk, and Hunter stated that at least fifteen people were constantly by his side during the process.
Hunter never thought the walk would become so big, having initially planned only for his friends to participate. But his expectations were well exceeded when the entire student body of Braden's school, consisting of 550 students, started the trek with Hunter and Braden. The walk began at Braden's school and ended at the University of Michigan Pediatric Rehabilitation Center in Ann Arbor, where Braden has a surgery scheduled for lataer this month.
While the walk accomplished Hunter's goal of bringing awareness to the condition, a spokeswoman for United Cerebral Palsy also noted that the event "gives us a glimpse of the unique relationship that frequently forms between siblings when one has a disablity."
According to the official Cerebral Palsy Swagger Facebook page, Hunter seeks to raise money to build a cerebral palsy-friendly playground at his brother's elementary school through a GoFundMe account. The link can be found below.
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- "Teen Carries Brother 57 Miles to Raise Awareness of Cerebral Palsy," Wyatt Massey, CNN.com, June 9, 2015
- The Cerebral Palsy Swagger Official Facebook Page
- Hunter and Braden's GoFundMe page