Walk For Liz

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Fri, March 29 2013 at 2:36 PM, Updated: Fri, March 29 2013 at 3:02 PM

A 23 year old Marine Corps veteran is walking across the country to raise money for a total stranger from Klamath Falls who was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Liz Estes was diagnosed with M.S. in February, when she went to a doctor to check on weakness in her legs, and severe headaches...

"And they told me I had an hour and a half to live.  They sent me in an airplane, and I though it was going to be the last time I would see my baby and my husband."

While Liz didn't die, her life may still be cut short.

Drew Blondeaux, a veteran of 3 tours in Afganistan, learned about Liz through his uncle Ken Blondeaux, a pastor in Portland.

Liz's husband Jeremy Estes explains how he learned about Drew's plan...

"We came back home, and he goes, 'there's a guy named Drew, ex-Marine, scout sniper, and he's going to walk across America for you guys to raise up money."

Last Sunday, Drew Blondeaux began his cross-country walk to raise money for Liz...

"The whole premise behind it is a random act of kindness for somebody that I don't know.  And I guess for Liz, her story's pretty powerful."

While Liz is very appreciative, she's also concerned for Drew's welfare...

"I love him to death.  Like I told him, I know I'm a typical mom:  'I don't want you to get hurt, I don't want you to talk to strangers...' But you know, I'm so thankful."

You can follow the walk online at:  www.walkforliz.com 

Drew Blondeaux hopes to complete his walk in about 5 months...

"After I complete the journey, I will fly up there and deliver the check to them."

Jeremy Estes says he's looking forward to meeting Drew...

"I would make him one heck of a big meal - and say thank you."

Drew Blondeaux began his cross-country walk in Oceanside, California, and is currently in Twentynine Palms.  Drew hopes to finish his walk in New York City.

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About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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