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    Posted November 20, 2011 by
    Coronado, California
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    Man Walks Across Country for MS


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     ChrisMorrow says Homsey arrived in San Diego on a nice, sunny day with a beautiful view of the Silver Strand beach area as he moved toward the finish line at the hotel. 'When he arrived to the Loews Coronado, the entire hotel staff lined up to welcome him and I was in tears. It was an emotional moment.' She shot this video on Friday, November 18.
    - nsaidi, CNN iReport producer

    27-year-old Stephen Homsey walked from Massachusetts to California to help raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis. He started his 3,473 mile journey six months ago and was reunited with his family and friends at Loews Coronado Bay Resort as the Finish Line.

    His story is pretty amazing- along the way, he has encountered hot weather and rainy storms. He has been chased by dogs and nearly hit by trucks. He has stayed overnight at campgrounds, with people who have MS, fire stations, churches, community centers and hotels. Check out my video of Homsey crossing the finish line.

    “For the last 20 years, we’ve been proud to support the efforts of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and their work to create a world free from MS,” said Brian Johnson, general manager of Loews Coronado Bay Resort. “Stephen is truly a very inspirational story of courage and determination, and we are honored he will conclude his cross-country walk at our hotel.”

    Homsey began his journey on May 10 from his hometown of Winchester, Mass. Along the way, he has collected about $9,000 in donations from individuals. He hopes to raise $30,000 and plans to donate the money for MS research.

    Homsey does not have the disease himself, but said an injury gave him the inspiration to do something to help those with MS, a chronic, unpredictable and disabling disease of the central nervous system with no known cause, cure or prevention.

    In May 2009, he fell 40 feet off a Boston apartment building, leaving him immobile for two months and unable to walk for six. During his recovery from a broken back, two broken heels, a broken left ankle and one broken wrist in two places, Homsey said he developed a greater understanding for people with MS.

    “During my rehabilitation I realized how lucky I was and how fragile life is,” said Homsey, a 2008 Virginia Tech graduate. “In the many hours of down time I was able to do research about multiple sclerosis. I could relate to the loss of mobility. Fortunately mine was temporary, but there are many people who are not so fortunate. With my second chance I made a vow to make the most out of every day and give back as much as I could. Craving the open road, I decided to walk across the country, see the true inner happening of the states, making stops at various cities along the way, and take the opportunity to help and better the approximately 400,000 individuals in the country who have MS.”

    Homsey crossed the California state line on Nov. 1. Details of his trip can be viewed at his website, www.steps4MS.org. Along the way, Homsey has encountered hot weather and rainy storms. He has been chased by dogs and nearly been hit by trucks. He has stayed alone overnight at campgrounds and with people who have MS. Additional overnight venues have included fire stations, churches, community centers and hotels, as well as members of the Financial Planning Association (FPA), a trade group Linda Homsey belongs to.

    “The response from people has been incredible, a lot of people are touched and inspired, because it seems everyone knows somebody who has MS,” said Stephen. “I’ve been inspired to meet people living with MS who have such positive attitudes. They are happy at living one day at a time. We live in a wonderful, very generous country, with people who are friendly and caring. There are a lot of amazing people out there with inspiring stories that I’ll never forget. It’s been an amazing trip.”

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