OREM, Utah — An 11-year-old who convinced his dad to quit his job and walk across the country with him to raise diabetes awareness was in Utah on Monday, according to KSTU.
Noah Barnes and his father, Robert, started in Florida nearly eight months ago. Nearly 2,000 miles and a combined nine pairs of shoes later, the pair is walking through Utah this week.
They are raising money and awareness to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes and the family has given up everything to make the trip.
“If he can physically do it, I’ve got to do everything in my power to support him,” Robert Barnes told KSTU. “If he wants to change the world, I’ve got to do everything I can to help him.”
Barnes left his job in Florida earlier this year and cashed in his 401k after Noah came to him with an idea.
“I told him I wanted to walk for a cure,” 11-year-old Noah Barnes said. He got the idea after hearing about a man named Terrance Fox, who ran across Canada to raise money to fight cancer.
“He saw Terry’s documentary, and he’s like ‘Hey, that’s what I can do,'” Robert Barnes said. “He said that guy only had one leg, I have two legs and can go across America and I’m like ‘no no no.'”
Noah was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 16-months old. Unlike Type 2, Type 1 is permanent and has no cure yet.
Noah hopes to change that.
“There’s been days when he’s like ‘I don’t know if I can do this,'” Barnes said. “But then he gets back up after 10 minutes and is ready to go again.”
So far, they have walked over 2,000 miles and raised $22,000 along the way. Their goal is to make it to Blaine, Washington. If they complete their goal, Noah will become the youngest person to ever cross the United States.
“There’s 267 people that can say they’ve crossed America on foot,” Robert Barnes claims. “There’s more people that can say they climbed Mt. Everest.”
And Barnes said, finding a cure for Type 1 can seem insurmountable. But Robert and Noah have no intentions of stopping their pursuit to make it happen.
“We end in Blaine, but we will bike, we will drive, we will YouTube this battle until there’s a cure. We fight until its done.”
If you’d like to donate, or if you would like to follow Noah and Robert on their live GPS tracker, here’s a link to Noah’s March Foundation Inc.