There are many illnesses out there that prevent people from going through the joys in life that we take for granted. Lack of limbs at birth, loss of limbs via some kind of accident, severe cases of knocked knees, paralysis and many more. The thing about these is that while they are not the most common to see around, they are common enough where if someone were to ask you about why you think someone was not able to walk, I am willing to bet that one of these reasons would come up. What about the illnesses that are not known very well? Do they just get left in the dark for those sufferers to deal with? Fifteen year old Hunter Gandee refuses to accept that.
This fifteen year old is doing something remarkable. Last Year, he walked for a grand total of two days and forty miles in distance, with his brother Braden on his back in order to raise awareness for cerebral palsy. Cerebral Palsy is an illness which causes weakness in someone’s muscles, making it difficult for them to do every day things like walk for example. However, due to the severity of his illness, Braden is not able to walk at all without the assistance of others. Just in case for whatever reason you do not find that incredible, Hunter plans on travelling even further on foot with his brother on his back this year. He plans on walking fifty seven miles this year. Hunter plans on walking from Temperance, Michigan to Ann prior. According to their mother, as of midday today, they are about one mile into their trip.
I find it admirable that Hunter has chosen to do this for his brother. I like anything that brings awareness to illnesses that not that many people know about. I have found in the past however, that some people dislike these awareness campaigns. Why? Because all it does is give people a reason to feel good about themselves, while not actually supporting the cause. That may be true for some people, but I still do not care, and I have two strong reasons why I think this way. For one, I feel that they should feel good about themselves. Even if they do not care about the cause whatsoever, they are still part of a group spreading awareness to the world, and somewhere, someone will see this group of of people walking and wonder what it is about, and maybe they will care about the cause. I also felt the same way about the infamous ALS ice bucket challenge. It spread a powerful awareness message, and gave people something fun to participate in. Even if people had no clue what ALS is, all it takes is someone on video going ” Hi guys, I am doing the ALS ice bucket challenge” and the effect on someone watching it can be similar to what happens with the walk for cerebral palsy. Some will turn their nose up at the idea, but others will question themselves on what ALS is and begin to research. In my opinion, no matter how it is done, spreading the awareness is the final point of these things, and they are extremely effective.
Another example I can think of where awareness actions like these were effective is the legendary man Terry Fox. His cause was not exactly for awareness more so than it was for raising money for cancer, but this man was recognized immensely for his action. With a mechanical leg, this man was determined to run across Canada. I hope that others muster up the courage in order to help their peers and loved ones with the struggles that they go through.