Gandee brothers finish final walk for cerebral palsy

Gandee brothers finish final walk for cerebral palsy
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

LANSING, MI (WTOL) - One hundred and 11 miles is no small feat, especially when you're carrying your 70-pound little brother.

But nothing could stop Hunter and Braden Gandee from making their third Cerebral Palsy Swagger walk.

"There's no stopping now, we're almost there," said Hunter Gandee at their third to last rest stop on day six.

The dynamic duo started on their trek Wednesday, April 20 from Bedford High School.

They were sent off in style with the band playing and plenty of people cheering in support.

After walking through the rain on Thursday, and dealing with aches and pains.

"I'm pretty sore right now," said Hunter Gandee, a junior at Bedford High. "My hip flexors are hurting."

The Gandee brothers made it to the sixth and final day - the final stretch on their last CP Swagger walk together - eventually crossing the "finish line" at the Michigan State Capitol Building in Lansing.

It's a journey that garnered national attention - six days, 111 miles, 32 rest stops, six schools, two pairs of shoes, even a physical trainer, and it's all for one goal.

"We are trying to challenge the world, at all levels, to take the necessary steps toward inclusion," said Hunter.

But this year's walk is different. It's their longest, nearly doubling their mileage from last year. It's also their last.

"Each walk has been special in itself. And, you know, there's the feeling that this is the last one we're going to do cause, you know, Braden's getting a little big and this is just going to have to be the last one," said Hunter. "We're thankful for all the support that we've received."

And though it's their last walk together, it's also a first for Braden. Unlike the years before, Hunter will stop carrying Braden, and let him walk the last half-mile by his side.

"I'm really looking forward to that because I'm ready to finish up the walk and, how do I explain this," Braden said.

"Ready to do this," Hunter said.

"Ready to do this," Braden said.

Along the route, the Gandee brothers made stops at schools like Milan, Dexter, University of Michigan, Chelsea and Michigan State University, among others.

Each stop and each step with the goal of informing a new person about cerebral palsy.

Bringing communities together, informing the world and in return getting support all along the way.

"Seeing these people here means so much because their support just pushes us on," Braden said.

Support at rest stops and rallies throughout each foot of their journey and of course from their family.

"I am insanely proud of my brothers, words can't even describe it. Just seeing how much Hunter loves Braden and how he'll do anything for his siblings, it just make me feel so proud and so happy to be a part of this family," said Hunter and Braden's sister Kerragan.

While this may be the final CP Swagger walk, the brothers say their goal to create awareness isn't over.

If you're interested in helping or joining in with their efforts,  visit their Facebook page.

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