KEY WEST, Fla. — “We’re this close to the cure and we need your help,” — that’s the mission 11-year-old Noah Barnes established for his foundation. The goal: to eradicate Type 1 Diabetes, for good.
“I came to my parents with the idea that I wanted to walk across America, from my house to my cousin’s house in Olympia, Washington and at first they were like ‘Nope! Nope! Nope!’ And very against it,” Noah said.
But eventually, Noah convinced his parents to get on board with the idea.
Noah’s March Foundation was founded in 2016 when Noah, who was just 10 years old at the time, spent 11 months marching across the U.S. — from Florida to Washington– raising money and spreading awareness along the way.
“His father took out a map and said why don’t we make it interesting and start at Key West and go up to the most northern point of Washington. It just worked out to be 4,240 miles,” Noah’s mom, Joanne Barnes, said.
Noah’s dedication to finding a cure doesn’t come without sacrifice. The family of five have been living out of a Jeep Wrangler for over a year. Noah and his two siblings study on the road in “Jeep School.”
“It’s home school in a Jeep. that’s why I call it ‘Jeep School.’ Sometimes I make mistakes because of the bumps on the road but otherwise, I’m flying,” Noah said.
His dad quit his full time job and is now continuing Noah’s fundraising mission on a bike.
“His company thought he was nuts when he resigned. We’ve sold our home and cashed in savings. But it’s all been totally worth it. I thought we were close before, but now working on this project together as a family has really brought us even closer together,” Barnes said.
On Tuesday, Noah met with several other Type 1 Diabetic kids at Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, posing for a picture and sharing his story.
He’s even set a Guinness World Record for being the youngest person to walk across the US.
“If you complain about a flu shot, I get that two to eight times a day. Sometimes 12,” Noah said.
So far, his foundation has raised nearly $30,000 for diabetes research and Noah doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.
“I’m thinking about New Zealand and Australia next,” Noah said.
For more information on how you can follow Noah’s journey or donate to his cause, click here.