'World Guy' walks through East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

'World Guy' walks through East Texas

JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) -

If you drove down Highway 175 near Jacksonville on Monday, you may have seen a man walking with a giant globe.

Erik Bendl, the "World Guy", is walking to bring awareness to diabetes, and he's already covered more than 4,000 miles.

"I started this walk from Seminole, Alabama on the eleventh of January. I've walked across Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana and started in Orange, Texas and I've zig-zagged my way through," said Bendl.

"I've seen this guy on Facebook and people have posted pictures about him. He's just a really interesting looking guy and we were driving back from Frankston and saw him so we thought hey let's stop and talk to him," said passerby Cameron Montgomery.

So just like Cameron, we decided to stop Bendl and ask, "Hey man, what's with the globe?"

"My mother was a state representative in Kentucky. She passed away from the effects of Diabetes. It was peer pressure when a couple of thousand people asked me the question about what I was going to do and I had an epiphany that I should walk across the country for something," said Bendl.

Bendl walks for diabetes awareness, but more importantly to motivate others to start moving.

"Spreading a simple message of take care of you, love yourself and go for a walk. It's an individual movement, movement," Bendl said.

Bendl said the globe was a gift... Well more like a friend was about to throw it away. So, he decided to save the world.

It's about six feet tall and weighs 80 pounds. Next to Nice, Bendl's dog, it's what keeps Bendl walking.

"If you just get out there and go for a walk with someone you care for you might help them keep their toes and feet," said Bendl.

Erik said he's already walked through 32 states in his 13 years of walking for diabetes.

He plans to walk all the way to Dallas by mid-April.

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