More MS news articles for Sep 2001

An amazing feet: Cross-country fundraiser strolls into N.J.

Thursday, September 6, 2001
Staff Writer

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS -- Thirty-five hundred miles later, Donald Lewis Stevenson finally was able to give his walking feet a rest at the Holiday Inn on Route 17.

The 65-year-old accomplished his goal Wednesday of walking across the United States, raising more than $4,000 toward fighting a disease -- multiple sclerosis -- familiar to him through his sister's suffering. The disease also claimed the life of his brother at age 30.

Stevenson's cross-country walk was his third trek since 1998 to raise money to fight either MS or Alzheimer's disease. He's raised more than $50,000 for the charities. A variety of contributors gave straight donations or pledged a certain amount per mile.

In 1998 he crossed the continent on foot from Seattle to Portland, Maine, and last year walked from Tijuana, Mexico, to Alaska. Much like his two previous trips, Stevenson arrived at his Hasbrouck Heights lodging Wednesday relatively pain-free.

"It's nice to get it done. It'll be nice to sleep in my bed," he said longing to be back home in Washington. His wife Loretta has been his companion all the way, driving the car that kept pace with Stevenson since he launched his trip April 26.

On Friday, at 10 a.m., the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will recognize his efforts during a news conference at the World Trade Center in Manhattan, said Cindy Diaz, director of corporate events for the society's Greater North Jersey chapter. He'll take a bus there.

Diaz said they'll celebrate the resilience of a 65-year-old man who paced himself as he walked 30 to 40 miles a day. "I'm on my fourth pair of shoes. I'm starting my fifth pair tomorrow," he said. Each day, he took only a few five-minute breaks over a 12-hour period.

Stevenson said he and his wife remained dedicated to achieving their goal of making it across the country.

"The most rewarding thing is to do something that helps others," he said.

Staff Writer Tom Davis' e-mail address is

Copyright © 2001 North Jersey Media Group Inc.