Boy is on mission to help younger brother with cerebral palsy

8th-graders team up to raise awareness on cerebral palsy

TEMPERANCE, Mich. – "I wrestle, so I know what it is to work hard," said 8th-grader Hunter Gandee. "But it's nowhere near what he has to do every day."

Hunter is talking about his 7-year-old brother, Braden, who has cerebral palsy. The disorder makes simple things, such as walking, very difficult.

"He can't do everything I can do, so I have to do it for him," Hunter said.

Hunter is always there to help out his little brother whenever he can.

"Hunter is strong enough still to pick him up," said their mother, Danielle. "So, he helps us out a lot because Braden is getting bigger."

Recently, Hunter came up with an idea to help in a bigger way.

"I wanted to raise money, but that wasn't the biggest goal," he said. "The biggest goal was to get the word out and inform people."

Hunter and fellow student council members at Bedford Junior High School in Temperance, Mich. accomplished that by making bracelets that read "Cerebral Palsy Awareness." They sold them for $1 each and donated the proceeds to Cerebral Palsy research at the University of Michigan.

"There are kids who are struggling [with Cerebral Palsy] working their hardest every day," he said. "If we all help a little bit, there's a lot of help we can give."

Braden even gave the bracelets away at his elementary school.

"Many people ask why I have a walker, I want them to know why," Braden said. "I want people to know; I don't have broken legs or anything like that."

Braden's older brother said the bracelets are just the beginning. He hopes to one day become a researcher to help everyone with the disorder. For now, he's focused on his little brother and making his life easier whenever he can.

"He's the greatest brother, I love him," Hunter said.