DETROIT (AP) - Two Michigan brothers who completed a 40-mile walk to promote awareness of cerebral palsy teamed up again to throw out the first pitch at a Detroit Tigers game Sunday afternoon.
Hunter Gandee, 14, held his 7-year-old brother Braden in his arms on the mound at Comerica Park as Braden tossed the ceremonial first pitch in Detroit’s game against the Colorado Rockies.
In June, Hunter Gandee carried Braden on his back for two days to cover the 40 miles from Temperance near the Ohio state line to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Hunter, a 155-pound school wrestler, said he trained for the trek carrying his 50-pound brother by lifting weights and staying active.
Called the Cerebral Palsy Swagger, the trek’s goal was to raise awareness for the condition that prevents Braden from walking without assistance.
“I can’t even describe to you how special (Braden) is to me. I can’t put it into words,” the teen said after finishing the walk June 8. “He’s awesome. He’s always there for me. I really just wanted to give back to him in some way.”
Danielle Gandee said the walk began with a dream she had that Hunter carried Braden from their house to the Straits of Mackinac. She said Hunter was enthusiastic when she told him about the dream.
“We just started playing with the idea and we realized that … to go to Mackinac would take two weeks walking 20 miles every day, and we just didn’t have the time,” she told the Detroit Free Press. “And so we picked U of M, and it seemed to be the perfect distance.”