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Got His Back

June 30, 2014
June 30, 2014

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June 30, 2014

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Got His Back

It was a piggyback that lasted 40 miles and ended after 31½ hours. Bedford Junior High eighth-grader and wrestling captain Hunter Gandee left his school in Temperance, Mich., on June 7 with his brother, Braden, 7, strapped to his back. The duo's walk to Michigan's Bahna Wrestling Center, in Ann Arbor, attracted the attention of engineering teams, including Cincinnati-based nonprofit May We Help, to their mission: to inspire better-designed mobility aids for kids like Braden, whose cerebral palsy leaves him unable to walk on his own. Braden, who keeps his big brother's stats from a mat-side perch at every match, had faith in Hunter's ability to carry on. "He's Superman," Braden said. Rain and chafing on Braden's legs nearly forced the boys to stop, but as they finally reached the go blue banner marking the finish, Braden reached to touch it. "It was the best moment of my life," Hunter says.

This is an article from the June 30, 2014 issue Original Layout

PHOTOCHRIS ASADIAN/THE ANN ARBOR NEWS/AP (GANDEE BROTHERS)