Man Completes 200-mile LDS Temple Run to Benefit 4-Year-Old Boy

Ben Watterson
Wan Ho Kou visits with 4-year-old Ben Watterson. Image via

This article was originally written by Arianne Brown for Deseret News. The following is an excerpt. 

On a chilly, 7-degree morning the day after Christmas, Wan Ho Kou of Herriman and six other runners gathered at the Draper Utah Temple to begin a 56-mile journey on foot toward the Payson Utah Temple. This run would be the final leg of a 200-mile run connecting 12 temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Logan to Payson — something they were doing to help a 4-year-old boy named Ben.

It was a few months ago when Kou met Ben’s parents, Kristine and Rob Watterson, while pacing the two at separate racing events. After spending so many miles with the couple, Kou felt a unique connection and reached out to them through social media. Not long after becoming friends, Kou noticed that Kristine Watterson was posting about some struggles her son was going through.

Kou came to learn that Ben was recently diagnosed with a genetic condition known as 22q11.2 Deletion, which is a deletion of a small piece of the 22nd chromosome. This condition causes many issues, including heart defects and cognitive delays — both of which Ben has been affected by.

With each picture and update posted, Kou knew he wanted to help this little boy but didn’t know how.

At first, he would pray for Ben, and he placed his name on the temple prayer roll when he and his wife would attend the temple. And while Kou had faith that his prayers were being heard, he wanted to do more.

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Kylie is a writer at and graduate of BYU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She grew up in a Chicago suburb where she gained a passion for the Chicago Cubs. She enjoys writing and live event video production.