Michigan boy, 15, completes 57-mile walk with brother on his back

Sun Jun 7, 2015 7:19pm EDT
 
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DETROIT (Reuters) - A 15-year-old Michigan boy on Sunday completed a three-day, 57-mile walk across the state, carrying his younger brother on his back, as part of a campaign to raise awareness for Cerebral Palsy.

Hunter Gandee started the long trek with little brother Braden, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, on Friday morning in Lambertville, Michigan, an unincorporated community near the Ohio border.

The brothers reached the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor at about 4 p.m. on Sunday, joined for the final leg by friends and family.

The walk, which made national headlines, marks the second long-distance march for the brothers.

Last year, they walked to Ann Arbor from their home in Temperance, Mich.

Hunter Gandee said the walk was not intended as a fundraiser, but rather an awareness campaign about the debilitating condition. During the hike, though, he rallied support to raise $200,000 toward the construction of a handicap accessible playground at Branden’s school.

The play place would include rubber flooring, ramps instead of stairs and other accommodations to make it easier for kids like his brother to enjoy recess.

The boys’ mother, Danielle Gandee, said all four of her children have taken part in the effort.

"Extremely proud of them as well as their sister Kerragan and little brother Kellen and even more so of their group of friends who have walked this entire journey to show support," Gandee said in a message to Reuters. "Love these kids!"

(Reporting by Serena Maria Daniels; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Nick Zieminski)