Cedar Hills resident finishes 365-mile trek to St. George on crutches

ST. GEORGE – A man with one leg finished walking from Salt Lake City to St. George on crutches.
Steve Wahlquist, a resident of Cedar Hills, arrived in St. George today after walking 365 miles. He walked through a finish line at Village Bank at 294 Tabernacle St., where he was met by a crowd chanting, “Walk, Steve, walk!”
Wahlquist departed from the University of Utah on Dec. 10. He walked along U.S. Route 89 while his wife drove alongside him in their car. He walked to raise awareness and funds for children who need prosthetic limbs. He also walked to raise money for a special little boy named Kevin.
Kevin was born with no arms or legs. While he can control his electric wheelchair very well, his family doesn’t have a vehicle that can transport his wheelchair, which weighs 300 lbs. Whenever Kevin leaves home, his mother has to carry him since she can’t transport his wheelchair.
Wahlquist has been focusing on raising money for a wheelchair-accessible van for Kevin and his family.
On Saturday, Wahlquist stood before a crowd at Village Bank and gave a speech, with Kevin’s family in attendance. Wahlquist held up a key strung on a piece of red yarn.
“This is not the key to the van,” Wahlquist said. “This key is a promise. We are only a few donations away.”
While Wahlquist’s walk is over, he stressed that the overall journey is not.
“We are not done,” Wahlquist said. “This is just the beginning. We are done walking, but we are not done fundraising.”
Wahlquist also encouraged people to help others who are in need.
“You’re never too old, never too fat, and never too busy to help others,” Wahlquist said. “Even if you’re not physically capable of doing some things, you can support those who are.”
Village Bank donated radio spot time to Wahlquist, donated their facilities for Wahlquist’s welcome and also donated $250 to his cause.
“We challenge every bank in Utah to meet our donation, if not exceed it,” said Shauna Ottesen, a human resource officer at Village Bank. Ottesen also coordinated Wahlquist’s welcome at Village Bank.
“It feels great to do the right thing for the right reason,” Ottesen said, “and it makes you realize we shouldn’t take anything for granted – even just getting up and walking.”
Ottesen said Village Bank was happy to help Wahlquist.
“My boss and supervisors were great,” Ottesen said. “They jumped in and gave the green light.”
Walking 365 miles was very difficult for Wahlquist. He is considering walking across the United States, but first needs to take some time to physically recover and find financial sponsors.
“It’s been a long journey,” Wahlquist said, “but it’s been a wonderful journey. I have been constantly amazed by the generosity of people as I went down the road. It’s been a great experience to see the outpouring of love and support.”
Carl Timm of Spring City walked one day with Wahlquist from Junction 70 to Big Rock Candy Mountain.
“It was all I could do to keep up with him!” Timm said.
While Wahlquist has stamina and determination, Timm admires him for his emotional qualities.
“(Wahlquist) has a tremendous spirit and love for his fellow man,” Timm said. “I really admire him. He’s done something special with his life.”
To learn more about Wahlquist and his cause, or to donate, visit http://www.walkstevewalk.com.

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