Someone everyday can inspire us and give us hope. It can only take one moment or one event to change our mindsets. For those in the Cerebral Palsy community, it is inspiring to see others growing awareness of CP and breaking the stereotypes. In the case of Hunter Gandee, one event – the Cerebral Palsy Swagger – brought the community together and gave hope to the families affected by Cerebral Palsy.
Hunter Gandee is 15 years old with a younger brother who has Cerebral Palsy. When Hunter was younger, he would carry his brother Braden on his back just because it was convenient. He realized that carrying his brother could be a powerful way to bring more awareness to Cerebral Palsy. From there, Cerebral Palsy Swagger was created.
The first Cerebral Palsy Swagger event was a 40-mile walk. But that wasn’t enough. Hunter wanted to add more miles this year so he could reach more communities. This three-day walk in 2015 covered 57 miles from Braden’s school in Lambertville (Douglas Road Elementary) to University of Michigan Pediatric Rehabilitation Center. The Cerebral Palsy Swagger event ended on June 7th with Hunter crossing the finish line with Braden on his back.
At the starting point of the walk, the Gandee brothers had amazing support from Braden’s peers. Since it started at his elementary school, the whole school came together and took the first steps with Hunter and Braden. All 550 students were there to show support and to show that they accept Braden for who he is.
Many parents who have children with Cerebral Palsy came out to support Hunter and Braden. The parents hope that this event could spread more awareness and “clear up misunderstandings people might have.” This event definitely brought attention to the CP community and, in turn, brought more awareness to people who might not understand the effects of Cerebral Palsy.
The courage and determination that Hunter illustrated by creating Cerebral Palsy Swagger is very inspirational. He took one idea and formed the Cerebral Palsy Swagger to bring awareness to CP and to support his brother. Something as simple as walking (not that walking 57 miles is easy) can give the CP community hope and inspire others to find their own ways to spread awareness.
For more information on the Gandees or Cerebral Palsy Swagger, visit their Facebook Page.
If you have any questions about Cerebral Palsy or getting assistance for a child with CP, don’t hesitate to call us at (800) 692-4453(800) 692-4453 FREE or fill out our form on Facebook or our website.
Photo Credit: Cerebral Palsy Swagger Instagram account