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11-year-old walks through Idaho as part of cross-country diabetes awareness march

Posted at 7:02 PM, Sep 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-27 21:02:10-04

An 11-year-old boy from Florida is trekking though Idaho this week in the name of  Type 1 diabetes awareness. 

Noah Barnes and his dad, Robert, are walking every step of the way from Key West, Florida to Blaine, Washington. 

Their journey started on Jan. 1, 2017 and on Wednesday, Noah was outside Hagerman, Idaho. 

Noah was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 16 months. By age 11, he was tired of having the disease. He decided he should do something to raise awareness and motivate others to donate toward a cure. 

"Noah literally came to us with a map and said, 'this is how I think we should do it," Joanne Barnes, Noah's mom, said. "When I saw that Robert was on board and it was a go, I just said ok." 

Joanne said she was nervous about letting her husband and son make the almost 4,000 mile journey, and the anxiety hasn't really stopped. 

She's been traveling with her two other children in a car as Noah and Robert complete the journey on foot. 

The pair walks anywhere from 7 to 26.2 miles a day, stopping along the way to check Noah's blood sugar. 

"The exercise has actually been really helpful to maintain his blood sugars during the daytime," Joanne said.

Though most people the family encounters on their march have a lot of questions about the trip itself, Noah and his family want others to focus on their message. 

"A lot of people who have diabetes deal with it quietly," Joanne said. "Noah has never let diabetes be a handicap to him, and it doesn't have to be, but, at the same time, it's a silent killer."

The family expects to march through Boise on Saturday. Waves, honks and donations are accepted if you happen to see them in the Treasure Valley over the weekend. 

Noah and Robert are carrying a GPS tracker with them to hold them accountable for every step. To follow Noah's March or for more information, click here.