World traveler for a good cause
Erik Bendl may not have the weight of the
world on his shoulders but he’s definitely dragging it along for the ride.
Bendl, 50, hails from Louisville, Ky. He
was in Orange Thursday morning as part of his walk across the country to raise
diabetes awareness — prevention of the disease and control of it for a better
life. What makes this walk even more interesting is he brings his dog, Nice, on
the trip, but he also tugs along a huge inflatable globe to raise world
awareness for diabetes.
“My mother died from diabetes at age
54. Her brother lived with diabetes until he was 84 which shows you can control
it and live a long life,” he said.
Bendl has walked 35 states so far. He’ll
go to Dallas and visit a portion of the state before heading to Arkansas. He’ll
then go to Tennessee and Michigan.
“This is my sixth walk since January
11. I left then from Seminole, Ala. I’ve walked 5,000 miles and I have hundreds
of patches on my globe. I plan to visit all the states of the lower 48 in short
intervals,” Bendl said.
Bendl was in Louisiana before he arrived
in Texas. He said he’s grateful he can walk off all of the delicious food he
ate in Louisiana.
Rolling the big inflatable ball can be
challenging sometimes, particularly during implement weather. Bendl said he
just has to be patient when that happens. He was fortunate to leave Wisconsin
before the snow fell by escaping to the south.
Bendl said he also relies on the kindness
of strangers in his travels and help him along the way.
“I also work as a carpenter and I
save money. People are kind and helpful,” he said.
Bendl has a website at www.worldguy.org
that helps the American Diabetes Association.
“Ultimately, we would like to find a
cure with the donations. Love yourself and go for a walk. Take care of your
diabetes,” he said.