ASHTABULA, Ohio– Pro Football Hall of Fame member Joe DeLamielleure, 62, is walking from Buffalo to Canton to raise awareness about children in need of prosthetics.
On Monday, he was making his way through Ashtabula County.
The former guard with the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns is celebrating his 10th anniversary in the hall of fame by walking from the 50-yard line at the home of the Buffalo Bills to Fawcett Stadium.
He left last Wednesday and is scheduled to arrive in Canton on Saturday.
“This is unusual; an old, a pre-93 guy walking. It doesn’t make sense,” said DeLamielleure, known affectionately by fans as Joe D.
In all, he’ll travel more than 200 miles and average approximately 20 miles a day over the course of seven hours.
DeLamielleure is devoted to raising money and awareness for Grace’s Lamp, a non-profit organization that helps children cover the costs associated with prosthetics.
“You know, we wanna make people aware of what goes on with prosthetics; it’s tough. Once you’re 18 years old, you’re done; then you’re on your own to get ‘em,” said DeLamielleure
Throughout his 13 years with the NFL, DeLamielleure played mostly for the Bills but spent the early 80s with the Browns where his most memorable moment involves the botched ending to a game in 1981.
“Well, the pass, Red Right 88, of course,” said Joe D., referring to a play in the final moments of game that cost the team a win. “But, I loved it,” he said about his time in Cleveland.
DeLamielleure said he’s hearing from family, friends and fellow hall of famers on his journey.
The public is invited to welcome Joe D. in Canton on Saturday, but the details are still being finalized.
“I don’t want ‘em [my kids and grandkids] to say, yea, he was a great football player. I want ‘em to say, my dad made a difference,” said DeLamielleure. Several years ago, he raised money for another cause by riding a bike from Michigan to Mexico.
You can follow Joe’s current journey on a blog posted on the Pro Football Hall Fame’s website. CLICK HERE for that.