At The Orlando Sentinel, George Diaz writes:
Troy Blevins walks in pain. He walks with purpose. He walks for his sons, and for the thousands of other children whose lives have been muted in heartbreaking silence.
One foot forward for his son Blake, 11. The next step forward is for his son Ty, 9. Both are autistic.
Blevins has been walking since Feb. 26. He started from his home in St. Augustine, marching onward toward the steps of the White House. The goal is to get there sometime between April 5 and April 10. It's a 749-mile journey, etched in a father's love and a grassroots desire to make a difference.
The hope is to meet President Obama, not for a fawning photo op, but for the opportunity to talk to the President in hopes of raising autism awareness.
"If I can't talk to the president, I want to talk to the most powerful person in the country — Oprah," Blevins joked by phone over the weekend.
Blevins isn't looking to play the blame game — though it's natural to think about environmental factors — but wants to make sure the powers that be don't dawdle on trying to figure out what the heck is going on.
At 44, Blevins has the financial means to take a work break — he is a business development director for Scott Lagasse Jr., a driver on the NASCAR Nationwide circuit. Blevins has also raised funds through his Facebook page (Walking with Troy), asking 100 friends to donate $100 each to pick up the costs of hotels and meals.