After Don’s landmark walk across America for 3000 miles this last summer, Don celebrated his 80th birthday! On his birthday, January 4, 2016 he started another walk of 1000 miles in his local King and Pierce counties in Western Washington. This time, he is also walking with a walker, an oxygen bottle and an O² face catheter – to empathize with those suffering with PH or any other lung disease.
Here are some images from his kickoff day and his birthday party:
For more info on Don and the other 50,000 miles he has walked, press releases, etc., click here to go to his About page.
So we finally caught up with Don! We hadn’t heard from him in awhile so I called him and here’s his progress so far.
The week before last, Don was in Ann Arbor, MI visiting Dr. Vallerie McLaughlin at the University Hospital at Michigan State. Here’s the fascinating article of his visit there and the strides that Dr. McLaughlin is making in changing the lives of patients with PH:
“Pacing Parson” visits Ann Arbor on trek for pulmonary hypertension awareness
He meets University of Michigan heart specialist leading cutting edge pulmonary hypertension research
Here’s a short video of his walk with supporters in Michigan.
This last week, Don and Loretta stayed at The Haven on the Vine Bed and Breakfast in Marion, OH. This beautiful historical home was once a stop on the Underground Railroad. While they were there, they found out that the inn is also the headquarters of Paradigm Shift Ministries live broadcast and Don was invited to share his experience on Periscope. Here’s the video of Don sharing:
Make sure to check out more of the broadcasts from Paradigm Shift Ministries and we want to thank The Haven on the Vine for their donation of a night for Don and Loretta!
Here is a press release that showed an event from last week and one coming up on Sept 12th:
79-YEAR-OLD “PACING PARSON” PASSING THROUGH DETROIT THREE MONTHS INTO WALK ACROSS AMERICA FOR PULMONARY HYPERTENSION ASSOCIATION (PHA)
Don Stevenson will help Kick off PHA’s Detroit O2 breathe Quarter Marathon
Who: Ahead of his 80th birthday, Don Stevenson (AKA the Pacing Parson), a Seattle-area (Auburn, Wash.) retired minister and former U.S. Marine, is walking from his home near Seattle, Wash., to Silver Spring, Md., near Washington, D.C., to raise awareness and money for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA).
Stevenson, who started the walk, June 9, walks 25-30 miles each day, taking Sundays off to rest.
Stevenson‘s walk for PHA is his 20th since 1998 to raise money and awareness for medical causes he supports, earning him the nickname, “The Pacing Parson.”
PHA relies on donations to fund patient and caregiver support services, PH public awareness and medical education
programs, specialty care resources and research to find ways to prevent and cure the disease. For 12 consecutive years, PHA has received the highest rating – four stars – for fiscal accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator, placing it in the top one percent of all rated charities.Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is high blood pressure in the vessels of the lungs, which can lead to death from heart failure. There is no cure. Stevenson had believed a 20,000-mile charity walk he completed last year would be his final one. However he felt compelled to support PHA after visiting Betty Mayfield, a fellow church member, in the hospital before she died of the disease.
This walk honors Mayfield, along with Dorothy Fitch, a close friend who is struggling with PH, and 14-year-old Cullen Steele, a local (Kent, Wash.) PH patient who recently underwent a heart and lung transplant. In 2010, Stevenson walked 1,200 miles around the perimeter of Washington State to help raise money for expenses related to the boy’s surgery.
What: Stevenson’s walk will include a stop at PHA Midwest Chapter’s Detroit O2 breathe Quarter Marathon fundraiser Kickoff event at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Sterling Heights, Mich, on Wednesday, August 26, 2015. The Chapter will thank him for his amazing sacrifice to raise awareness and funds for PHA.
Buffalo Wild Wings
44833 Mound Road
Sterling Heights, MI
5 pm – 9 pm
For its part, Buffalo Wild Wings will donate to PHA 15 percent of proceeds from customers who present a flier for the kickoff event.
The Detroit O2 breathe Quarter Marathon Run and Walk is September 12, 2015 at Stony Creek Metro Park in Shelby Township, Mich. For more event information about the Run and Walk and to download the event flyer, visit: www.o2breathe.org/Detroit15.
How: PHA is chronicling Stevenson’s journey on social media and inviting people to walk with him and capture the experience via photos and short video clips.
Stevenson followed a route along Highway 2 across the northern part of the U.S.
He completes 25-30 miles a day and catches up with his wife, Loretta, who drives ahead and secures overnight accommodations. The Stevensons ask hotels to sponsor their overnight stays.
The Stevensons are passing through Michigan and heading south across the Straits of Mackinaw, through Detroit and Ohio before finally arriving in Silver Spring, Md., at the headquarters of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. The goals is to reach PHA Headquarters in mid-to late-September.
People and businesses will support Stevenson through sponsorships and donations to PHA.
Stevenson’s walk is one of PHA’s many Team O2 breathe events, where communities and individuals raise money for PHA.
Donors can support Stevenson by going to PHAssociation.org/PacingParson and following his journey @PHAssociation on Twitter and Pulmonary Hypertension Association on Facebook. PHA asks that supporters add #PacingParsonPHA to their social media posts.
I spoke with Don a couple of days ago and he will be in Superior, WI by this weekend. He enjoyed a visit from Col. Carl Hicks, Jr. last week who flew in from the Seattle area to walk with Don for a bit. Carl is the Executive Vice President at the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) that Don is walking for. He has been personally touched by pulmonary hypertension in the life of his daughter. I’ve included some great photos taken with Don and Col. Hicks in the Gallery (found on the home page in the menu) so take a look!
Here’s a video of Don taking off early in the morning with Carl Hicks, Jr.
Don also related some heartwarming stories when he was in Bemidji, MN. They met a nice waiter, Isaac, while they were eating at Applebee’s and when they were telling him about the walk, he gave them his tip money. It ended up being $45! Loretta was washing clothes at a laundry mat there in town and after drying his clothes, a man said his dryer was free. As Loretta loaded her clothes, they started talking and he gave her $100 for PHA! All monies received go exclusively to help PHA.
Don is making great headway and keeping up with his schedule! He stopped in Malta on Monday, the 29th and was interviewed by the newspaper, Phillips County News. Here is the link to read the article: ‘Pacing Parson’ appears in Phillips County.
On Tuesday, I spoke with Don and he was enjoying dinner with his great friend, Gary Pederson of Edgewood, WA who met him along the way. Here’s a picture of Don in Glasgow, MT.
Don Stevenson, The “Pacing Parson,” makes his way along U.S. 2 on Monday morning, June 15, in Evergreen. Stevenson, a former United States Marine, is walking from Auburn, Washington to Silver Springs, Maryland for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. (Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake)
Don Stevenson, Auburn’s man of sole, is about to launch his latest long-distance dedication.
Stevenson, The Pacin’ Parson, plans to walk 3,000 miles across America – from Auburn to Silver Springs, MD – to raise funds and awareness for pulmonary hypertension (PH), a high-blood pressure disease that affects the heart and lungs.
The walk officially begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 9 from the steps of Auburn City Hall, 25 W. Main St. Supporters are welcome to attend.
The 79-year-old Stevenson hinted last year at retirement from cross country walks after completing a 20,000 -mile trek to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society last year. But the former Marine, pastor, teacher, truck driver and firefighter has decided to walk the long road again.