Going the Distance with Swagger to Spare

Friendly Wheels, Issue 98
April 2016

With Hunter and Braden Gandee of Temperance, Mich.

It's not uncommon for a young boy to see his big brother as a hero, but for Hunter and Braden Gandee, the feeling is mutual.

 

Like many brothers, Hunter, 16 , and Braden 9, share a passion for sports. But it was their close bond that led them on an amazing journey together. 

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Braden was born with cerebral palsy, which causes muscle weakness and limited mobility. After seeing his brother's daily struggles, Hunter wanted to raise awareness for cerebral palsy and help others understand the challenges Braden faces. 

 

In June 2014, Hunter and Braden set our on a 40-mile walk from their hometown Temperance, Mich. to the University of Michigan while Hunter carried Braden on his back. They named their adventure The Cerebral Palsy Swagger.

 

"We wanted a catchy name that would not only define our project, but also stick in people's minds," Hunter said. "Swagger is to walk with an attitude or purpose, and that's exactly what we were trying to do."

 

After successfully completing the initial 40-mile trek in two days, the brothers set out on a 57-mile walk in June 2015. "We took a slightly different route to reach new towns, but the goal was the same -- to continue to raise awareness for cerebral palsy," Hunter said. 

 

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To the boys' surprise, people started sending donations of support, eventually totaling over $200,000. After considering how they might use the funds, they decided to build an accessible playground for Braden's school.

 

With the support of volunteers, the impressive accessible playground was completed in October 2015. The new playground has accessible equipment and a rubberized surface that's easy to maneuver with Braden's walker. 

 

Hunter has received numerous awards for his achievements, including Presidential Service Award and Sports Illustrated's 2015 High School Athlete of the Year. Throughout the process, he has remained humble and keeps moving forward. 

 

"We are an average family just like everyone else, and we believe anyone can create a project to impact and improve their community," Hunter said. "All it takes is a dream, support, and courage to follow through."

 

The brothers are now planning a third Cerebral Palsy Swagger walk on April 20th, with plans to walk a whopping 111 miles in five days. To follow their journey, check out the Cerebral Palsy Swagger Facebook page for updates -- we can't wait to see what's next for this inspiring pair!

 

 

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News Flash

Supporting Families in Many Helpful Ways

Supporting Families in Many Helpful Ways

Friendly Wheels, Issue 123

August 2018

 

Amigo owners often share inspiring stories. From overcoming a mobility challenge to figuring out innovative ways to go to new places to helping people in their communities, the experiences they share never cease to amaze us.

In this edition of Friendly Wheels, we get to meet Shannon DeWall, JD, an attorney, wife, mother and community volunteer in metro Detroit. Learn more about her story below.

A Family's Story of Reclaiming Hope

A Family's Story of Reclaiming Hope

Friendly Wheels, Issue 122

July 2018

In a time of crisis, it may be reassuring to know that there is another family that's experienced a similar situation: the Shepherds. James Shepherd and his mother founded the Shepherd Center, a not-for-profit hospital located in Atlanta, Georgia specializing spinal cord injury rehabilitation, in 1975 in response to an accident James endured as a young man. Learn more about his family's inspiring story.

This Amigo Owner Adds a Little Magic

This Amigo Owner Adds a Little Magic

Friendly Wheels, Issue 121

June 2018

Carrie Rostollan, a longtime member of the Amigo family, recently visited our Bridgeport facility for the Amigo Mobility Center open house. She shared with us some of her upcoming summer plans and entertained us with her magic tricks! Discover more about Carrie's 'magical' adventures.

Amigo Mobility Blog

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