DESOTO, KAN - They've walked thousands of miles in just under a month. And now they're on the home stretch to their final stop in Topeka, Kan., all to raise awareness about developmental disabilities.
"Our goal was to walk 4,372 miles, one mile for each person currently waiting for services in the state of Kansas," said Maury Thompson.
Thompson says recent state budget cuts have made it difficult for individuals to get the services they need in order to live healthier and more productive lives in their communities. Some have been on a waiting list for these services for more than five years.
"If they don't get services, they're on the waiting list, and we need to tell our legislators that we need to get them off the waiting lists," said Cole Browne.
Dozens of agencies that provide services to the disabled, and hundreds of volunteers, have circled the state on foot to get legislators' attention, working for the disabled they call "invisible Kansans." They're hoping to restore some of the $10 million dollars in funding cut from disability services and cut the length of the waiting list.
Browne didn't have services growing up. He wants others to enjoy the support he gets now.
"It feels good to walk by little cities and people, see where we're from and little cities like this that don't have any services, they need these services," said Browne.
Alone, "invisible Kansans" say it's tough to be heard. But speaking with united voices through this statewide march, it's hoped they'll become visible to lawmakers battling a budget shortfall. Their final stop April 28 in Topeka