Pacin’ Parson to walk for blindness research

Don Stevenson. REPORTER FILE PHOTO

Don Stevenson. REPORTER FILE PHOTO

Don Stevenson, Auburn’s Pacin’ Parson, vows to complete a 100-mile walk so that others may see.

The 83-year-old ultra-marathon walker’s latest adventure will raise awareness and funds for blindness research at the University of Washington Medicine Eye Institute with the support of the Auburn Noon Lions Club.

Stevenson hopes to average 10 miles a day by circling his home course, Game Farm Park, officially starting the walk at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, and finishing at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31.

For Stevenson, the walk comes as he recovers from surgery for glaucoma. He will cover the miles with the aid of a walker.

Stevenson completed a 400-mile walk in March to raise awareness and funds for Seattle Children’s in a show of gratitude for the work the hospital did in treating his 18-month-old great-grandson, Cash LaRance, who has beaten back kidney cancer.

Last year he completed a 600-mile local walk to raise awareness and funds for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and help the LaRance family cover medical expenses.

Stevenson has walked approximately 60,000 miles, completed 20,000 hours and taken 120 million steps – all for the good of others – since 1998.

Early last 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.

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 finished a 3,000-mile benefit walk the Pulmonary Hypertension Association – which took him from Auburn to the PHA headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., in 2015, just shy of his 80th birthday.

To learn more or to donate to Stevenson’s walk to beat blindness, visit auburnnoonwa.lionwap.org, or Facebook, or call 253-397-3333.

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