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This Guy Is Walking Across America To Raise Money For Hospitalized Kids Around The World
March 8, 2013
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Cody Thompson.jpg

They say every journey starts with a single step. Well, this one will take hundreds of thousands... even millions.

Cody Thompson is planning on walking across the United States, starting in his home state of North Carolina and finishing in Redondo, California - a staggering 4390 kilometres (2728 miles).

He's doing it to raise awareness and money for 'Child's Play', a charity that donates toys and games for kids in 70 hospitals around the world.

His motivation actually goes back to when he was a kid.

When he was four, Thompson had surgery to cure an eye disease and as part of his rehab, doctors got him to play video games. And he was hooked for life.

Along the way, he became a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien's books like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

That instilled a big sense of adventure in Thompson - although this journey will take him through Middle America, not Middle Earth.

He's also hoping his walk will change the negative perception of video games, because of violent games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.

"It's not all about violence or [being] anti-social. Gamers and games can and do accomplish a lot of good," Thompson said.

His other inspiration was a story he saw in 2010, about a 16-year-old boy who was walking from Miami to Washington D.C. to raise awareness about homeless youth.

"This kid, from a loving home, with parents willing to follow him in their car, did this thing. I was amazed," he said.

So, last year, Thompson decided to go for it - except he never really got out of the starting gate.

"I had no idea how much time, planning and training was necessary," he said. "I never got out of the planning phase... I guess I just wasn't ready to do it."

But now, he's regrouped and with a lot of help from his wife, he's planned out the entire journey and been cleared by his doctor.

Thompson will be tracking his walk on his blog,, plus he has more info and a video at that includes a donation button. Check it out below.

Instead of a backpack, Thompson will push a stroller to carry his gear, because he recently had knee surgery (one of many) and a backpack would be too hefty.

The thing he's most worried about is whether or not his knee will give out, so his father might follow along in a car during tough stages, like the desert.

"It will probably be the toughest part of the walk. There's nobody out there but you, but I don't mind the solitude. Lot's of time to think."

"My doctor says I can do it, and I am only planning to average about 13 miles a day, so with the stroller and the route that I've picked, I should be good to go," Thompson said.

His wife will be along too, tracking the weather for bad storms or potential tornados. He plans to sleep in a tent and he's heard from strangers offering hot meals and a shower.

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