WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Why did the guy with a big globe walk across the country? To raise awareness for diabetes. During your commute this week, you may see Erik Bendl walking with his dog and a huge globe. He’s been walking along US 17 in Brunswick county all day with no intention of stopping.
Erik Bendl is on the road, and he says it’s all in the name of a good cause. “I’m walking for diabetes awareness,” says Bendl. “Trying to get a simple message across, that if you go for a walk, you can keep the diabetes away and if you get walking, you can keep it more balanced and keep it at bay if you are diabetic.”
Bendl or “World Guy” is getting attention and raising awareness for diabetes as he walks along Highway 17 in Brunswick county. With his 4-year-old dog in tow, Bendl has managed to walk from Myrtle Beach to Leland in just a few days. He says the number of people affected by diabetes is incredible, which is why he does what he does. “I’m surprised with how many people are diabetic or have family or friends that are diabetic,” says Bendl. “I don’t know of any disease that effects so many people in so many ways.”
But “World Guy” does not have diabetes. So why is he so passionate about the disease? “I had lost my mother to diabetes,” says Bendl. “So I go on periodic walks through different states in the lower 48. I’ve walked in 25 states, over 2,500 miles with my dog Nice.”
Bendl says it’s not all about how far he walks or how much he earns. He is just trying to lead by example.
“What really warms my heart is when people go out there and are inspired to go an exercise,” says Bendl.
“World Guy” says getting involved is easy. “Find the one’s that you love that are close with you that you really care about and go walk with them,” says Bendl.
Bendl says he will be walking along Highway 17 for another week. He hopes to get all the way to Jacksonville. If you want to learn more about “World Guy’s” journey and cause, check out his blog and donate at www.worldguy.org.