Thu, 26 Jun 2014 16:29:35 GMT — A Temperance teenager who carried his 7-year-old brother on his back for 40 miles over two days isn't slowing down. Hunter Gandee's mother, Danielle Gandee, says her 14-year-old son has a busy summer ahead of him. In addition to throwing out the first pitch at a Detroit Tigers game on July 31 and spending a week working in a soup kitchen and cleaning up from Superstorm Sandy in New York, Hunter is continuing to work toward his goal of raising enough money to build an accessible playground for brother Braden's elementary school. So far, he has helped to raise two-thirds of the cost of the first phase of new playground at Douglas Road Elementary. Hunter and Braden battled the elements and fatigue to finish the 40-mile walk from their hometown of Temperance to Ann Arbor earlier this month. The walk began at Hunter's school, Bedford Junior High, and ended at the University of Michigan. "When this first started, I just wanted to inform the community and other people in Bedford, but really it's grown to more than I could have ever dreamed," said Hunter.
Called the Cerebral Palsy Swagger (CP Swagger), the trek's goal was to raise awareness for the condition that prevents Braden from walking without assistance. The boys have helped raise $10,000 thus far for the University of Michigan's Cerebral Palsy Research Consortium.
In July, Hunter will visit the University of Michigan Health Systems department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to learn how his awareness project and donations have helped their research efforts.
"It's nice to see that they're inspiring people...that they have such a positive impact on people around them--but again these are just my kids," said Danielle. "They're like this all the time. I'm proud of them and no matter what they're always going to have each other."
The boys are featured in the next issue of Sports Illustrated, which hits stands Thursday.
(The Associated Press contributed to this article.)