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Cedar Hills man to walk across Utah on crutches

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UTAH COUNTY -- A Cedar Hills man is taking a long walk across the state. It's a journey that will take him weeks to finish, but he says it's all for a good cause.

Steve Wahlquist lost his right leg to cancer, but it hasn't stopped him from doing the things he loves. His goal is to raise awareness for kids who need help with prosthetics and show them anything is possible.

Wahlquist plans to walk all the way from Salt Lake City to St. George, a distance of 365 miles. It's a difficult feat for anyone, but he'll be doing it with one leg.

I want to keep the hope in kids. I want them to understand they can do things and they don't need to be limited by anything more than their own beliefs.

–Steve Wahlquist

"I lost my leg to cancer a couple days after I was born," he says. "I haven't really known anything different. I've been walking on crutches my entire life."

But it hasn't slowed him down. He's spent his life overcoming challenges and wants to prove others can too.

"I want to keep the hope in kids," Wahlquist says. "I want them to understand they can do things and they don't need to be limited by anything more than their own beliefs."

Steve Wahlquist
Steve Wahlquist

So he's making the seven-week journey to raise awareness for kids who need help with prosthetics. He's trained for more than a year, taking walks around his Cedar Hills neighborhood.

"I am so proud of him. He is so amazing," says Wahlquist's wife Kara. "He got this in his head that he needed to do something that would really help the kids and came up with this."

The goal is to raise one dollar for every person in Utah.

"The average kid is going to outgrow an artificial limb at the same rate you're going to wear out your shoes -- once or twice a year," Wahlquist says. "But it's $10,000 to $15,000 for that, instead of $40."

Wahlquist tried a prosthetic but he lost his leg at the hip and says it wasn't a good fit. He knows for many kids, an artificial limb can make a life-changing difference.

"They are going to be able to walk and use the artificial limbs to do things they couldn't do without it," he says.

Wahlquist says his efforts are inspired by kids like Kevin, a bright 5-year-old boy born without arms or legs. He had the special honor Friday of sending a handful of balloons into the air to kick off Wahlquist's walk.

Wahlquist says if he reaches his goal, he hopes to help 40 to 50 kids.

"That's just scraping the surface of what needs to be done, but it's a good start," he says.

Wahlquist will resume his walk Saturday at 8 a.m. at 3900 South and State Street. Those wanting to walk with him are welcome to join.

To donate to Wahlquist's cause, [CLICK HERE].


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Anne Forester


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