"He ain't heavy" -- Michigan boy carries brother for a cause

There's a couple of brothers we want to tell you about tonight. They're from Michigan -- 14 and 7 years old.

And they are in the middle of reminding us all about the power of sharing a load.

At the age of 14, Hunter Gandee has been giving his younger brother Braden a lift for years.

Hunter and Braden Gandee walked for a cause -- cerebral palsy CBS News

"I was 6 so I was old enough when he was born to know about cerebral palsy," Hunter said. "I knew that he would have difficulty walking and may never be able to do it on his own."

A "lift" is one thing, but what Hunter is doing for Braden this weekend is so much more than that.

CP is a disorder resulting from brain damage that affects roughly three-quarters of a million Americans.

Hunter Gandee was walking 40 miles with Braden on his back CBS News

Hunter wants to raise awareness about CP and is in the middle of carrying Braden 40 miles on his back -- from their hometown of Temperance, Michigan, to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

"I think it's going to be great," Braden said. "It's going to be hard for me and Hunter but I think we can do it."

Hunter hopes to encourage new ideas to help people with CP, in particular a way to make it easier for people like Braden to get around.

Hunter and Braden Gandee CBS News

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

They got a rousing send-off at the start Saturday morning, joined by about 50 friends and relatives for the first part of their walk. Hunter and Braden made it three miles before making their first rest stop.

At mile six, they paused to stretch. Hunter may be carrying Braden, but Braden is lifting Hunter as well -- in his own way.

"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.

Hunter and Braden are set to arrive at the University of Michigan Sunday afternoon.

  • Jim Axelrod

    Jim Axelrod is the senior national correspondent for CBS News, reporting for "CBS This Morning," the "CBS Evening News," "CBS Sunday Morning," and other CBS News broadcasts.