NFL Hall of Famer pounds the pavement with local double amputee

NFL Hall of Famer pounds the pavement with local double amputee

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on July 13, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 13 at 9:37 PM

BUFFALO, N.Y.  -- His gait is a little awkward, but it’s his smile and his spirit that steal your focus, and your heart.

Joey Funderburk, who lost both his legs at a young age, is walking alongside former Buffalo Bill Joe Delamielleure.

“Joe D,” as most people know him, heard Joey's story and wanted to help.

“You got to be passionate to accomplish something like this. You can't just go do it, and he gave me a reason,” Delamielleure said.

The 62 year old is walking 200 miles from the 50 yard line in Buffalo, where he played, to the NFL Hall of Fame in Ohio to raise awareness for Joey's cause.

This week Joey joined him for the first mile.

“In Canton, they always ask if I’m coming back. Always thought in my tenth year I wanted to walk back if I could, because I'd be ten years older, [and] my tenth anniversary and the fiftieth anniversary of the Hall of Fame. I go to church. I asked God, ‘Give me a reason where I can help the most people and Joey popped up,’” Delamielleure told reporters Wednesday.

Joey outgrew his prosthetics and sold donuts across Charlotte to raise money for new ones. NBC Charlotte first met Joey this past winter when the doctors heard his story and helped get him new legs.

“It’s been a life changer for me, these legs,” the 20 year old said.

Joey is still trying to raise money, now trying to help others, and Joe D has joined the cause.

“Thank you so much. This is a great guy. You would think he would be stuck up. He is down to earth, genuine.”

The two will meet up again to cross the finish line together next week.

For more information on the charity Joey created, click here.

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