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HALL OF FAMER JOE DELAMIELLEURE COMPLETES 213-MILE CHARITY WALK FROM BUFFALO TO CANTON – Former Buffalo Bills offensive guard and Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure completed a 10-day, 213-mile charity walk to raise money and awareness for prosthetics.

The walk started at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo and concluded on Saturday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. DeLamielleure’s inspiration for the trek, 20-year-old Joey Funderburk, who lives near DeLamielleure in Charlotte, N.C., was in attendance and walked the final yards with him.

The marathon walk is the latest chapter in the colorful life of the 62-year-old football legend known to his kids as “Joe Gump.” He overcame long days and high humidity to bring recognition to Funderburk, whose adult set of prosthetic legs cost $120,000, and others like him. In recent months the cause has taken on greater significance after the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing left some in need of artificial limbs.

The “Pounding the Pavement for Prosthetics” campaign benefits Grace’s Lamp, an organization committed to helping young adults purchase adult prosthetics. The former player told reporters he’s not sure how much they have raised to date.

DeLamielleure was thinking about a charitable walk to the Hall as far back as four years ago when he took part in a 2,000-mile bike ride to Mexico to generate money for an orphanage. His budding friendship with Funderburk supplied him with motivation.

Joe D, as he’s called by many, wrote a blog for the Pro Football Hall of Fame over the past two weeks. He received many calls and texts along the way, including fellow Hall members Lynn Swann, Bart Starr and Mike Ditka.

“All of these calls and texts have really inspired me,” DeLamielleure wrote. “To tell you the truth, I knew this walk would be tough but it was actually more challenging than I thought it would be.

“I think it’s such a great cause. I hope I’ve made a difference and that this is the start of something big. I’m hoping we can start doing walks all around the country. Not 213 miles, but to do a bunch of them would be significant.” (Photo: Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Submitted by Keith Clay


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