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Michigan teen ends 57-mile walk carrying brother on back to raise cerebral palsy awareness

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DETROIT — A Michigan teen who last year walked 40 miles carrying his brother on his back to raise awareness for cerebral palsy has wrapped up an even longer trek with his sibling.

Hunter Gandee finished his 57-mile journey Sunday afternoon at the University of Michigan's Pediatric Rehabilitation Center in Ann Arbor after starting from Lambertville in southeastern Michigan's Monroe County. His brother was in a harness.

Hunter was 14 last June when he carried then-7-year-old Braden, who has cerebral palsy and cannot walk unassisted.

Hunter told The Associated Press by phone Sunday that he was "pretty sore" near the finish but "got a burst of energy at the end." He said they received great support throughout the weekend.

"It went great — we walked into a big crowd of people," Hunter said. "It was great to have everyone there. ... (Braden) was excited — not only that we were done finally, but everyone was there cheering him on."

PHOTO: Braden Gandee rides aboard his brother Hunter's back who is walking along side sister, Kerragan and brother, Kellen as the Gandee family begins the 55 mile walk from Temperance, Mich., to Ann Arbor Friday, June 5, 2015. This walk is to raise awareness about cerebral palsy.  (Tom Hawley/The Monroe Evening News via AP)
Braden Gandee rides aboard his brother Hunter's back who is walking along side sister, Kerragan and brother, Kellen as the Gandee family begins the 55 mile walk from Temperance, Mich., to Ann Arbor Friday, June 5, 2015. This walk is to raise awareness about cerebral palsy. (Tom Hawley/The Monroe Evening News via AP)

The list of supporters included members of Hunter's wrestling and football teams, some of whom dumped a bucket of ice water on him at the end. Also in attendance was world silver medalist wrestler Jake Herbert.

This year's "Cerebral Palsy Swagger" started Friday at CP Swagger Shipyard, a playground they raised money for at Braden's Lambertville elementary school.

The family said the walk wasn't intended to be a fundraiser; rather it an awareness project. Hunter said they "absolutely" achieved that aim.

"We were able to reach more people," he said. "That's what our goal was."


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