Ronald McDonald House donates to brothers for handicapped-access - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Ronald McDonald House donates to brothers for handicapped-accessible playground in Bedford Twp

Plans for the new playground Plans for the new playground
BEDFORD TOWNSHIP, MI (Toledo News Now) -

Two brothers in Bedford Township have made the news recently, raising money and awareness for cerebral palsy research. Now with a donation from the Ronald McDonald House of Northwest Ohio, they got a special surprise.

Hunter and Braden Gandee made news when Hunter carried Braden, who has cerebral palsy, 40 miles to raise money and awareness. They've been honored at the University of Michigan, and got to throw the first pitch at a Toledo Mud Hens game.

On Monday, Ronald McDonald House board member and Toledo News Now anchor Melissa Andrews showed up at Douglas Road Elementary with a surprise for Braden and the other kids: A donation from the Ronald McDonald House will make the brothers' dream of a handicapped-accessible playground a reality.

The Ronald McDonald House donated $18,270, which will help pay for a pirate ship on the playground.

"There's gonna be areas where you can all play together," Melissa said.

"I think that's awesome," said Braden.

Right now, Braden's cart and wheelchair get stuck in the mulch on the playground. A swing is about all he can play on. A new, $160,000 special-surface, musical playground will allow Braden and all of his friends with and without special needs to play together.

 "It's been really cool and we've gotten so much support from so many people," Hunter said. "We're really making progress with this."

"Ronald McDonald House is gonna be an instrumental part in making this happen," said Carol Perz at Douglas Road Elementary. "This started out with a dream, with two boys with an idea, with a dream, with some dedication, and the Ronald McDonald House – their donation is part of making this come to fruition."

The boys have a foundation out of Fort Wayne matching all donations. They hope to have the playground up by next spring for all of Bedford to enjoy.

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