Man walks across America for St. Jude Hospital

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Mario Landeros is a man on a mission. The more shoes he wears out, the better the mission goes. Landeros is walking from Los Angeles to Maine, a trip of almost 4000 miles, all to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"I've been volunteering for children that have chronic life threatening illnesses for about five years and I saw an opportunity to do something more and I wanted to do a lot of fundraising. So I decided this would be a good way for me to raise a lot of money," Landeros explained.

Trying something so daunting is a bit strange isn't it?

"I get that question quite a bit actually," Landeros said. "I guess you have to be [crazy] to do something like this, a little bit."

Landeros said the physical demands of such a long journey have actually eased as he's moved across the country.

"At first, I started doing about 10 miles and I thought I was doing pretty good, but then I eventually got to the point where I could do 40 miles pretty easily," Landeros said.

Helping hands reach out along the way, offering support and money for the cause. Now on his long trek across the country, Landeros said he either camps out, stays at hotels or motels that are donated or even RV camps. Some churches even lend a hand.

And he also says the show of support he's received has done his heart good.

"Most of them are friendly honks, which is good. People stick their arm out the window or the sunroof and do one of these (he waves) or whatever, so it's always pretty nice and encouraging," Landeros said. "It's been a lot of fun and I've enjoyed doing this."

Now it's time to stop talking, and start walking, again.

Landeros has a goal of raising $1 million during his walk across the country.  If you'd like to help with the cause, he has a Facebook page that can be used to offer donations. It's called Operation Cheer:

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