TEMPERANCE, Mich. — A 14-year-old Michigan boy set out on a 40-mile trek Saturday with his 7-year-old brother strapped to his back, hoping to raise awareness about the muscular condition that prevents the younger boy from being able to walk without help.

Hunter Gandee, with 50-pound Braden securely strapped to his back, left shortly after 8 a.m. from the parking lot of Bedford Junior High School in Temperance, which is near the Ohio border. They hoped to arrive Sunday at their destination, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Surrounding the Gandees were dozens of family, friends and community members, many of whom released balloons as the walk began.

Called the Cerebral Palsy Swagger, the trek’s goal is to raise awareness for the muscle disorder that afflicts Braden and to grab the attention of the next generation of leaders, doctors, engineers and entrepreneurs and show them the face of cerebral palsy and the need for new ideas in mobility aids and medical procedures.

The walk has already gained quite a bit of attention.

“We’ve gotten contacted by the lead singer of Megadeth, and he’s supporting us and donating. We’ve gotten contacted by the Detroit Tigers, and they’re on board and supporting us. Whole bunches of different people,” Hunter said. Even students from a rival middle school, Jefferson, raised $700.