'World guy' walks for diabetes awareness (VIDEO, SLIDESHOW)

world guy Erik Bendl nwfdn

Kentucky resident Erik Bendl and his dog, Nice, are walking across Northwest Florida pushing an inflatable Earth ahead of them to raise money for diabetes organizations and to promote exercise as a way to prevent diabetes.

DEVON RAVINE | Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Monday, January 7, 2013 at 04:31 PM.

 NICEVILLE — On Sunday a 50-year-old man from Kentucky and his dog had the world on a string and were rolling it down State Road 85.

Erik Bendl and Nice the Dog pushed their world – an inflatable ball about six feet in diameter - down the shoulder of the highway as they have done for over 6,000 miles across 39 states since 2007 in order to raise awareness about diabetes.

Bendl’s mother and brother-in-law both died in their 50s after suffering from the disease. His uncle, now in his 80s, was also diagnosed with the disease, but is managing it and has lived to meet his grandchildren, unlike Bendl’s own mother.

“That’s a good reason for anybody to be inspired,” he said.

View a slideshow from the road.

Watch an interview with Bendl.

Bendl started this trek in Florida - his ninth trip with the world - on Wednesday in Pensacola. He thought he might walk about 13 miles south down SR 85 on Sunday and then hitch a ride back to his van, which was parked at a gas station.

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