Don Stevenson, Auburn’s ultra-marathon walker, is donating his latest steps to his 18-month-old great-grandson, Cash LaRance, who recently was diagnosed with kidney cancer.
The 82-year-old Pacin’ Parson is on a 1,000-mile local walk to raise awareness and funds for cancer research and help the LaRance family cover medical expenses. The walk began after Labor Day and will finish by Thanksgiving, Stevenson said.
Proceeds from the walk will go to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
“(Cash) is less than 2 years old. I felt it necessary to come out of retirement to walk a thousand miles for the little guy and cancer research,” said Stevenson, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and retired pastor, teacher, truck driver and firefighter, who has supported many causes in the past 20 years with his long-distance benefit walks.
LaRance has responded to treatments from Fred Hutch. “Cash has been healed, and is 100 percent cancer free,” Stevenson said.
Stevenson has walked approximately 60,000 miles, completed 20,000 hours and taken 12 billion steps – all for the good of others – since 1998.
Earlier this year, Stevenson completed a 13,000-mile walk to bring awareness and funds to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that has no cure. Money raised on the walk, which began in March and ended in June, supported the ALS Association. He dedicated the walk to Mark Alleman, a friend who was diagnosed with the disease.
Stevenson also has: covered 7,600 miles for Alzheimer’s; 20,000 miles for Multiple Sclerosis; 13,000 miles for Huntington’s disease; 2,400 miles for the American Cancer Society; climbed Mount Rainier for the American Lung Association; walked 730 miles for Spina Bifida; and 2,086 miles for blind and special needs kids.
He made national news when he began a 3,000-mile journey from Auburn to the PHA headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., in 2015, just shy of his 80th birthday.
To donate to Stevenson’s fall walk to beat cancer, visit fredhutch.org, or call 206-667-4399 (ask for Scott Greenfield) or mail: Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Ave. N., Mail Stop J5-200, Seattle, WA 98109
Please designate your donation to the account of Don Stevenson, or the Pacing Parson.