Don Stevenson, Auburn’s ultra-marathon walker, is stepping it up for Seattle Children’s in a show of gratitude for the work the hospital did in treating his great-grandson, Cash LaRance, who has beaten back kidney cancer.
The 82-year-old Pacin’ Parson plans to walk hundreds of miles to raise awareness and funds for the center by following local trails to the pace of 20 miles a day. He plans to finish the walk by the end of December.
Stevenson recently 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. The walk began after Labor Day and finished around Thanksgiving, Stevenson said.
“(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.
Stevenson has walked approximately 60,000 miles, completed 20,000 hours and taken 120 million 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 walk to beat cancer, visit giveto.seattlechildrens.org/donate, or call (toll free) 866- 987-2000, or mail: MS S-200, P.O.Box 5371, Seattle, WA 98145-5005