+
More

The amazing reason this kid carried his little brother on his back for 111 miles.

5 days. 111 miles. 2 awesome brothers. 1 incredible story.

An 111-mile walk would be a meaningful accomplishment for anyone.

But it was even more so for Hunter and Braden Gandee, neither of whom would have started the journey if not for the other.


All photos from Hunter Gandee, used with permission.

Braden, 9, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age 1.

He usually uses a walker to get around. But, inspired by a dream their mom had, Braden's 16-year-old older brother Hunter decided to take a walk with Braden on his back to raise awareness for CP. Hunter said he is inspired by "just seeing my brother fight through all the struggles and how he battles everything with a positive attitude."

"I thought the idea was crazy," Braden said. Crazy or not, he agreed to go along for the ride.

The brothers, who live with their family in Temperance, Michigan, first walked together in June 2014 for 40 miles, then they did it again the following year for 57 miles.

This year’s walk was the longest yet for the brothers, totaling a whopping 111 miles and taking five days to complete.

"There was never point where I was tempted to quit," Hunter told Upworthy, "but there was a point where I was worried we might not be able to go on. On the fourth day, I started having a lot of pain in my hip, and it got really bad at a few points."

He says a friend prayed for him, and he was able to complete the journey.

Hunter carried Braden on his back for all but the last half mile, which Braden completed with his walker.

The journey took them from the steps of Bedford High School to the Michigan capitol. Friends, family, and complete strangers joined in along the trek.

Hunter is the oldest of four siblings, including Kerragan, 15, Braden, and Kellen, 8.

All four Gandee siblings participated in the walk, which they’ve started calling The Cerebral Palsy Swagger.

"Me and my siblings are just like normal siblings," Hunter says. "We fight, laugh, and have fun together. Braden just has some extra needs, so we have to be there for him a little extra."

Braden goes to therapy every day, and he says he has to "learn how to do things like walking that most others don't have to learn."

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects body movement, muscle coordination, and balance.

It usually affects the part of the brain that’s in charge of muscle movements, and while it cannot be cured, early treatment can make a big difference. "I wish that people would realize that people with CP are just like other people," Braden said about his condition. "They just have to work a little bit harder."

"Our goal for this walk was to challenge the world at all levels to take the necessary steps towards inclusion," Hunter says.

He also helped to build an accessible playground at Braden’s school and hopes that their walks bring awareness to those flaws in our society that create unintentional barriers for people who happen to have disabilities.

"I hope more people will learn about cerebral palsy so they can raise awareness," Braden said.

This will be their last Cerebral Palsy Swagger as Braden is now 70 pounds and Hunter is getting ready for college next year.

But I have a feeling their journey toward inclusiveness won’t stop here.

GIF from "Clueless."

Right on, Gandee family!

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Two couples move in together with their kids to create one big, loving 'polyfamory'

They are using their unique family arrangement to help people better understand polyamory.

The Hartless and Rodgers families post together


Polyamory, a lifestyle where people have multiple romantic or sexual partners, is more prevalent in America than most people think. According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, one in nine Americans have been in a polyamorous relationship, and one in six say they would like to try one.

However popular the idea is, polyamory is misunderstood by a large swath of the public and is often seen as deviant. However, those who practice it view polyamory as a healthy lifestyle with several benefits.

Taya Hartless, 28, and Alysia Rogers, 34, along with their husbands Sean, 46, and Tyler, 35, are in a polyamorous relationship and have no problem sharing their lifestyle with the public on social media. Even though they risk stigmatization for being open about their non-traditional relationships, they are sharing it with the world to make it a safer place for “poly” folks like themselves.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less