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What’s it like to walk 57 miles with your 8-year-old brother on your back? Ask the Gandees this and more

Gandee brothers to take all questions in live Web chat after 3-day, 57-mile walk for cerebral palsy that ends at U-M’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Center

ANN ARBOR, Mich. —   For 57 miles and three days, 15-year-old Hunter Gandee will again travel through Michigan carrying his 8-year-old, 60-pound brother Braden on his back to help raise awareness for cerebral palsy.

The duo, which made national headlines last year after making their famed trek dubbed the Cerebral Palsy Swagger, will celebrate their finish on Sunday, June 7 at University of Michigan’s Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Center.

Have a question for the famous pair? The family will be back in Ann Arbor three days after the walk for a live Q & A session with the community taking all questions, including what it was like to add 17 miles to the route and carry a 10-pound-heavier Braden for all those miles.

The public is invited to ask the brothers why they do what they do during a live Web chat hosted by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital from 10-11 a.m. June 10. Hunter and Braden will be joined by mother Danielle and a doctor from U-M’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Community members may ask any questions ranging from cerebral palsy treatment and advances in research to accessible playgrounds and the highs and lows of a 57-mile trek with your brother strapped to your back.

Questions for the panel may also be submitted before the chat by tweeting questions to @mottchildren with hashtag #mottchat or emailing mottchildren@umich.edu. Visit www.mottchildren.org/webchats to sign up and learn more. Participation is free. 

Hunter and Braden Gandee

“Our goal is to help the world see the need for better treatment options, smarter equipment, and more aggressive progress towards creating a truly accessible world for individuals with disabilities,”  Danielle Gandee says of the walk.

The Gandee brothers also encourage supporters to join them during the last stretch of the walk. Support may be shown with signs, cheering, and following the story on the Cerebral Palsy Swagger Facebook page or other social media sites. Two walkers adapted for Braden this year after last year’s walk will also be on display.

The walk starts at 11 a.m. Friday June 5 at Douglas Road Elementary in Lambertville where Braden attends school following the groundbreaking of a new accessible playground there. It will continue through Temperance, Ida, Dundee, Milan, Ypsilanti and end in Ann Arbor around 4 p.m. on Sunday June 7 at U-M’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Center.

The swagger event has garnered national and local attention, with coverage by CNN, Detroit Free Press, Ann Arbor News, Fox 2 Detroit, People and more. Braden's recent surgery and treatment at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital has also been covered in the news.

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