National News

Man Walks 36 Miles To Honor Nephew, Raise Money For Children's Miracle Network

Posted October 30, 2017 1:52 p.m. EDT

— Joe Speagle is still recovering after he decided earlier in the year to try and walk 40 miles to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network (CMN).

He started training in April and finally set out on his trek in late September.

Speagle explained that he wanted to give back to the organization that helped his nephew, Matthew, who has accomplished so much.

"Matthew was born with a rare genetic disorder that affects the bones, the skin, mental cognitive issues that go along with that," Speagle said. "Most of the men with his genetic disorder don't live to see their first birthday."

Matthew is now 20 years old and Speagle said he is the oldest person alive with his condition.

During the planning stages of his walk, Speagle was unsure how he was going to map out 40 miles.

He is an employee of Walmart and decided to visit various locations in the area starting in Jane, Missouri.

His trek took him to other locations including a few stores in Bentonville and Rogers.

After accumulating a good amount of blisters, he decided to cut his journey short at the Walmart Neighborhood Market on East Center Street in Bentonville, the store not too far from his home.

Speagle traveled a total of 36 miles in 12 hours.

He realized before his trip that he could try and get his idea sponsored.

Speagle was astounded by just how many people reached out to help him help others.

"People have big hearts," Speagle said. "You got to give them motivation to do what they naturally want to do."

His idea raised around $5,500 that will go to the CMN.

Speagle said he was a little disappointed that he didn't make it the full 40 miles but is willing to try again.

His son offered to travel with him next year to see if they can go the distance.