More MS news articles for Mar 2002

Auburn man fights MS one step at a time

by Mary Swift

A Walk In The Park -- He started in mid-January.

And since then, Auburn's Don Stevenson has logged more than 750 miles -- all of them around Auburn's Game Farm Park.

Stevenson, whose goal is to walk 8,000 miles by the end of November, figures he'll reach the 1,000 mile mark at 11 a.m. March 7, a milestone open to the public that will be marked by a brief ceremony and refreshments.

Stevenson is walking to benefit the MS Society. He said people keep coming by to offer encouragement.

Two men who have multiple sclerosis showed up to walk with him, he said.

One did a mile one day, two miles the next.

Another did three miles one day, four the next.

"You have to have MS to appreciate how much determination and energy it takes to walk that much," Stevenson said.

Not all the words are encouraging.

But even when they're not, Steven-son salvages motivation from them.

Case in point: a young man in a pickup who drove by, honked, and shouted, "You'll be dead before you reach 8,000 miles."

Stevenson calls the incident "a motivating force."

He took it -- fittingly -- in stride.

"I'd like to invite that young man to be standing at the flagpole when I cross the 8,000 mile finish line on Nov. 25, 2002," he said.

* Dance On, And On --Let's just say Renton's Jeff Jones has a few miles to go, too.

Although Jones, a student at Northwestern University, won't be doing them at Game Farm Park.

He'll be doing them on the dance floor when he dances for 30 hours straight during the school's annual dance marathon on March 8.

The event will raise money for Friends for Steven, an all-volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to the research of non-toxic treatments for pediatric neuroblastoma, a highly aggressive cancer.

* Heaven, Hell And Places In Between -- I was having dinner with my 6-year-old grandson Ryan recently.

"So what happens if you die?" he asked.

I told him people believed different things.

Some people believe you just die.

Some people believe if you believe in Jesus you go to heaven.

And some people believe you go to heaven even if you don't exactly believe in Jesus as long as you have a good heart.

He nodded solemnly.

"And what if you have a bad heart?" he asked.

Well, I explained, some people believe you simply stop existing.

And some people believe you go to some place very hot, kind of like a permanent "time out" -- only with the thermostat turned on high.

Understanding dawned.

He leaped out of his seat.

"Ohhh," he cried throwing his hands up in the air. "You mean Hades! I KNOW Hades! Wyoming is hotter than Hades. (Ryan had been in Wyoming last summer on a fossil-hunting trip.) All I did was sweat there. I know Hades!"

Which leads me to the following conclusion: According to Ryan, if you don't make it to heaven, there's a good chance you'll spend eternity in Wyoming.

South County Scene is written by Mary Swift and appears Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Call 253-872-6672.

Copyright © 2002 Horvitz Newspapers, Inc.