He ain't heavy: Brother carries brother 64km

Last updated 12:01 09/06/2014
Hunter and Braden

Hunter and Braden, seen in a flyer promoting the walk.

Hunter and Braden
The brothers, pictured just before embarking on their walk.

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A US teenager carrying his 7-year-old brother on his back has battled heat, rain, fatigue and more to finish a 64-kilometre walk to raise awareness about cerebral palsy.

Fourteen-year-old Hunter Gandee walked from his junior high school not far from the Ohio border to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He packed his brother, Braden, throughout the two-day journey.

On Sunday (local time), they strolled up a winding road toward the university's wrestling centre. Asked how he felt, Braden said simply: "Tired."

Hunter acknowledges there was talk of stopping the walk around the 48-kilometre mark due to chafing on his brother's legs.

Called the Cerebral Palsy Swagger, the trek's goal was to raise awareness about cerebral palsy and to put a face on the neurological disorder.

Hunter told ABC News that he can be "very protective" of his little brother.

"If he has any problems, I'm right there by his side."

Although Braden usually uses a walker, brace or crutch to get around, Hunter told NBC news he regularly carried Baden around, although never this far.

"I was 6 so I was old enough when he was born to know about cerebral palsy.  

"I knew that he would have difficulty walking and may never be able to do it on his own."

Hunter also hoped to encourage new ideas to help people with cerebral palsy, in particular a way to make it easier for people like Braden to get around.

"He has trouble just going through grass, gravel, mulch, snow, sand - I mean we're hoping to get something more all-terrain," Hunter said.

Hunter used his brother as inspiration to get through some of the tougher parts of the walk.

"Whenever I'm going through something that's difficult and doing something that's hard, I see him and how he worked through it, and it just kind of pushes me through," Hunter said.

- AP, Stuff

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