Noah Barnes may only be 11 years old, but has walked more than 4,000 miles in a year, broken a Guinness World record and raised tens of thousands of dollars for a good cause.
Over 329 days, Barnes walked 4,240 miles across the United States.
“I started in Key West, Florida at sunrise,” Noah explained. “I ended in Blaine Washington.”
His trek earned him a Guinness World Book Record for being the youngest person to walk across the country, but that’s not why he did it.
At 16-months-old Noah was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. A diagnosis that his dad Robert, says came as quite the shock.
“Diabetes has the stigma that you did it to yourself,” said Robert, “you deserve what you got.”
It’s a disease that approximately 30-million Americans live with every day and last year it was a disease that Noah decided he didn’t want to live with anymore.
“Those needles… if you complain about the flu shot I get that two to twelves times a day,” said Noah.
So, when Noah found out there was no cure he wanted to help find one. At first he came up with the idea of a lemonade stand or 5K, but then he went bigger.
“Terry Fox is a Canadian legend who ran across Canada for cancer and he had one leg,” said Noah. “What went in my head was, ‘I have two legs and I've got America! I've got this!”
At first, his parents weren't quite on board.
“They thought I was nuts!," said Noah.
But after some persistence by Noah, his family decided it could and should be done.
“It was one of those life-changing moments of, ‘what have I done with my life?”, Robert Barnes, his father, explained. “When he came to me, he really kind of rattled me with some of his questions.”
So, the Barnes’ sold their house, liquidated their 401 (k) and depleted their savings. Then they walked, raising money and awareness along the way.
“We are going to end up giving somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000 to research here in the next two years,” said Robert.
All of this in hopes that one day soon, their steps will add up to more than just miles.
“I want a cure for diabetes, for the 30 million people that have it,” said Noah.
For more information about Noah’s March or to donate, click here.