‘World Guy’ walks for diabetes awareness in Lafayette

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Diabetes affects more than 29 million Americans, and now one man is walking across the country to raise awareness.
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Diabetes affects more than 29 million Americans, and now one man is walking across the country to raise awareness.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Erik Bendl is on a mission.

“Most everyone has some experience or someone they know or a relative that has diabetes,” said Bendl. “They all think it’s a worthy cause.”

Bendl, also known as World Guy, has been pushing an inflatable globe across the country raising diabetes awareness.

After several years and more than six thousand miles later, Bendl is still pushing to inspire people to get up and get moving.

“I just think it’s a good message,” said Bendl. “I just get such a good response and encouragement from others that it helps keep me inspired to keep going.”

Since losing his mother to diabetes, the 52-year-old Kentucky native has made several long distance walks, traveling from place to place by van then walking through towns and cities.

With his dog “Nice” by his side, he said he makes an impression everywhere he goes.

“I’ve met several who have lost weight or gained control of their diabetes by my inspiration of walking through their town,” said Bendl.

This is the twelfth trip for Bend, going from Louisville, Kentucky to Michigan.

Bendl said it wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of others.

“I just felt in my heart that it was meant to be,” said Linden resident Tina McClanahan. “That I stop and invite him and help him out.”

McClanahan once battled diabetes, and has been helping Bendl during his journey through the Lafayette area, providing him with some meals and giving him rides back to his van.

She said what Bendl is doing sets a good example of what people can do to make a difference.

“It makes a big impression for anyone who has ever battled and had to deal with the sickness of diabetes,” added McClanahan.

As World Guy continues making a positive impression across Indiana, he wants everyone to follow his lead.

“Love yourself, go for a walk,” said Bendl. “Prevent, control and turn diabetes around.”

Bendl said he doesn’t know exactly where in Michigan his journey will end.

Until then, he said he will continue to try to end diabetes one step at a time.

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