Walking 'Cross the US for HD (T-minus 42 days)
Trip Start Jan 01, 2007
97Trip End Sep 15, 2008
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I suggest this story idea be directed at Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Don Stevenson, 72, a former pastor from Auburn, Washington, is an ultra walker. According to his website, www.pacinparson.org, since 1998, Don has logged over 30,000 miles criss-crossing the U.S. to raise money to battle diseases such as Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis and lung cancer.
In an emotional walk in 2004, Don hiked 106 miles through the Cascade Mountains blindfolded in empathy for Maria Federici (www.mariasmiracle.com), a young Washingtonian blinded in a traffic accident caused by an unsecured load.
Everywhere Don goes he brings a smile and a greeting, and, if you need some Good News, he'll give you some from his pocket-sized New Testament. That's how he became known as America's Pacin' Parson.
Don's current cause is Huntington's disease, a devastating hereditary, degenerative brain disorder for which there is, at present, no effective treatment or cure. One out of every 10,000 Americans has HD and those affected by HD often face discrimination both on the job and from their health insurance carrier.
In January of 2007 Don set a goal of raising $10,000 for Huntington's Disease Society of America (www.hdsa.org), or HDSA, and raise awareness of this devastating disease by walking 10,000 miles within his home state of Washington. Don expects to make both goals and celebrate with the mayor of his hometown, Auburn, in a ceremony at Auburn's Game Farm Park on April 22, 2008. But that won't be the end of this fundraiser. Don has added another $10,000 to his goal. He will take a few days off, and then complete two additional hikes: One will be from Seattle's Space Needle to Auburn and the last will begin in Spokane, stop off in Chicago and end at New York's Empire State Building, where Don will be greeted by officials of the national headquarters of HDSA.