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Man with Down Syndrome, father walk over 300 miles for awareness

By Devon Dolan | Posted - Sep. 12, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — A 25-year-old man with Down's syndrome and his father laced up their shoes and set out to achieve what they never thought possible — they are walking across the state.

The father and son team have made a goal to walk 300 miles from Washington County to Temple Square.

Dave Allen said it's been a long journey, but every step has been worth it.

"We're walking to Salt Lake, one foot in front of the other," Dave said.

The pair started in St. George and have already walked 297 miles. The route took them through Eureka and Saratoga Springs, among many other Utah cities.

Dave had a double knee replacement five years ago. He said the journey has been challenging but worth it.

Bob has Down Syndrome. His mother Kathy said he didn't take his first step until he was two, and he started walking around four years old.

His parents said he spends most of his time on the couch. That was motivation for them to get him moving.


We're walking to Salt Lake, one foot in front of the other.

–Dave Allen


Bob and Dave made it to the Jordan River Parkway Thursday. Dave said Kathy served as a support system during their walk.

"My wife would drive in front of us one or two miles, stop, and then we would go sit on the bumper and have a drink of water," Dave said.

He said there were challenges to the walk. Finding restrooms was a problem, and Bob's feet experienced a hefty share of blisters.

"We had to buy him fancy shoes, and when they broke we fixed them with shoe-goo," Dave said.

Dave said Bob couldn't walk even a mile seven months ago. They plan on reaching Temple Square on Saturday. Dave said they'll celebrate by planning another walk.

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Devon Dolan

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