Bayshore Boulevard: Tampa, Florida

 The World’s Longest Continuous Sidewalk

Before making the trip out to Tampa, I was trying to locate a local 5K or 10K race in the city.  Despite my best internet researching efforts (and others), I was unable  to locate any official races over labor day weekend.  Of course, this would not deter me from running for Papa, and my good friend Ali informed me of a beautiful strip to run along in Bayshore Boulevard which links South Tampa and downtown.

Based on some after-the-fact research, Bayshore was built in the early 1900’s and is deemed the world’s longest continuous sidewalk because its 4.5 mile stretch of concrete is not interrupted by cross streets. This 10 foot-wide sidewalk starts at the Columbus Statue Park at Platt Street on the north end, and ends at Gandy Boulevard. It’s an official greenway trail, with amenities like benches, a water fountain, bicycle parking, a city marina and fitness stations. Fifteen cast bronze trail markers are embedded in the sidewalk, denoting each half mile and kilometer southward along the trail.

What I enjoy most about running is the ability to run in new places and along new routes.  I love taking in all the scenery and people along a run.  There were people riding bikes, men sitting on the balusters fishing, and an older gentlemen from the UK that was inquiring about my cause.  By writing PPA on one hand and Papa on the other, people are often stopping me and inquiring about the cause and reasons behind my journey.  As a result, people have been quickly gravitating to this campaign to create awareness for PPA research which is a top priority!

Too see pictures from the run go to – The Longest Continuous Sidewalk in the World

To see video from the race go to: One Looooooooong Sidewalk

Warrior Dash

Mud. Sweat. Beer.

There has been a ton of hype heading into the Warrior Dash out here in Huntersville, North Carolina.  There was a tremendous amount of excitement stemming from people in the local and surrounding communities; however, the threat of hurricane Irene made the potential postponement or all out cancellation of the Warrior Dash a realistic possibility. Fortunately, the hurricane changed course mid-week and the race went on as planned.

Per my usual routine, I indulged in some delicious r.a.w. sushi the night before the big event.  For whatever reason on shorter races, sushi is my fuel.  I relish in “filling up my fish tank” and then waking up the next morning and running, well, more like Superman on this day.

My close friends Adam & Michelle (who flew in from Cleveland for this race) decided to join for all the festivities.  Our wave was at 2:00PM and we decided to scope out the event by heading to the grounds at high noon.  As we were pulling into the lot, we could see people dressed up in a variety of costumes from Braveheart & samurai warriors to villains & superheroes.  No matter what age or gender, everyone was here to have a good time and get dirty!

While waiting at the Start line, the energy was positive and brewing. The weather was a typical 90-degree Charlotte summer’s day  (without humidity), partly cloudy skies and a slight breeze in the air.  The countdown began and we raced through the coral as fire was going off above and headed down the winding path for about 3/4 of a mile before hitting our first couple of obstacles.  We scaled over fences and crouched beneath barbed wire.  We came around a short bend only to come up to a bunch of different dumpsters  where we were hopping in & out, from one to the next. After this, we approached a bunch of uneven connected ladders and had to walk across maintaining our balance.  Of course, off in the distance we could see a major roadblock ahead:  a 30 foot wall.

As we approached the wall, there were 4 ropes dangling in front.  We carefully pulled our way up to the top of the wall, and flung our bodies over the side to come back down.  As a reward, we had a water station awaiting. Not much time to relax as the next challenge lead us through a trail path that weaved up & down throughout the forest another 3/4 of a mile.  As we approached the end of the trail, we had to get down on our hands & knees  in order to continue as there was an enclosed black tarp that we had to crawl underneath (about 100 feet).  Inside was total darkness.  There was a ton of dirt, dust and random arms and legs swaying to & fro.  I kept my head down and my eyes wide shut until I spotted a glimpse of daylight.

We popped out and rounded the corner.  In front of us, a muddy river!  We jumped from land to water, straddled logs in the river and managed to come out soaked to the bone.  One thought: keep moving!

As we headed up a hill, we reached our last mile of the Warrior Dash challenge.  Obstacle after obstacle lay ahead: crawling like a spider over jagged  cargo nets, hiking up stairs and sliding down fire poles, climbing more cargo nets and crossing over structures that had no safety nets below.  It was an adrenaline rush to say the least.

With the finish line in sight, we could see smoke and fire in the distance.  We ran towards the fire and hurdled two sets of burning logs only to run directly into a barbed-wired filled mud pit.  It was deep and beyond muddy…fantastic!  The mud pit spanned about 30 yards and we boot-camped it under the wire. Covered in mud from head-to-toe, we crossed the finish line and were given our rewards: a medal and a cold beer!

Before heading out we were hosed down by a water truck.  This was both fun and necessary!  As mud poured down our bodies, we headed towards the parking lot and stopped short of the massive pile of dirty shoes that warriors donated to charity.  These shoes would be cleaned and given to those that needed them most in the local community.

All in all, this race was the craziest one so far!  I highly recommend anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to partake in the future!  As my fellow warriors would attest:

It’s all about the Mud, Sweat & Beer!

Next year, I look forward to sharing this experience with both fellow warriors and newbie competitors,  and of course, compete for best warrior time and costume!

To see video from the race go to: Live Commentary as a Warrior

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Are you a warrior?

Live from the Warrior Dash


Here are a couple videos that were recorded at the Warrior Dash race in Huntersville, North Carolina…please feel free to comment!

Pre-race Warrior Dash Commentary:

Mud. Sweat. Beer! Warrior Dash Teaser

Head-to-Toe Wrap-up:

To read my step-by-step account of the race go to: Warrior Dash Run

Major ALS Breakthrough at Northwestern University

Researchers discover common cause of all forms of ALS

I have partnered with Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine to help create awareness for PPA research.  A couple days ago, this department had a MAJOR breakthrough in the researching and testing of the brutal disease ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  The relentless persistence of a quarter century has finally paid of for senior author Teepu Siddique, M.D., Professor of the Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurosciences at Northwestern’s Feinberg School and a neurologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

He said he was initially drawn to it because, “It was one of the most difficult problems in neurology and the most devastating, a disease without any treatment or known cause.”

The underlying disease process of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and Lou Gehrig’s disease), a fatal neurodegenerative disease that paralyzes its victims, has long eluded scientists and prevented development of effective therapies. Scientists weren’t even sure all its forms actually converged into a common disease process.

But a new Northwestern Medicine study for the first time has identified a common cause of all forms of ALS.

 

 

 

My First Trail Race Run (10K)

Silence in the Woods

I have been looking forward to my latest race for quite some time.  Having never run a trail race before, I was told by many friends to purchase trail shoes as opposed to my normal running pair.  Trail shoes are made to better absorb the rough terrain and provide extra support around your feet.

I walked into my favorite running store, Run For Your Life, and went to get my bib for the race.  To my surprise, the employees behind the counter said that 11 bibs had been  “pre-stamped.”  I asked “What does that mean?” It meant there were giveaways like shoes, runnnig shirts, and other gear being raffled to a handful of runners post-race.  I took this as a good omen, purchased a pair of trail shoes and headed to meet my good friend Adam for a pasta dinner at Maggiano’s: gnocchi with vodka sauce and sausage…delicious!

The night before the race, I layed out my gear (superstitious -yea I’ll own it).  My alarm went off at 6:57 AM (yes another superstition) and I headed out to the race located at the White Water Center in Charlotte, NC.  The temperature was in the high 70’s by the start of the race and I felt really comfortable and ready to run.

The race had about 400 runners and I learned real quickly that passing people on a trail run was not something that was going to happen very often due to the narrowness, slope and tight angles of the path.  It was more single file leading into the woods which was an easy way to keep the pace.

Once inside the woods, I remembered what my good friend Christy said, “Make sure to watch your feet at all times!”  Excellent advice.  There were tons of roots sticking out, big dips & sloped inclines as well as miscellaneous natural debris scattered throughout the trail.

This race was so different than all the others because for the most part, it was utter silence. The only supporters along the way were a handful of Run For Your Life Employees at 2 water stations and directing the flow of the route.  It was so calm and peaceful to be jogging in the woods. Normally, I feed off the crowd cheering me on, but this serene quietness was a completely different type of atmosphere, which I was starting to love mile by mile.

The challenging part was balancing the quick dips versus the steeper inclines. While running downhill, I had to carefully slow down my body and use a lot more energy due to the sharp declines.  Contrastingly, on the steep uphills, I would quickly run up the path. I knew that if I went at my normal pace, I would expend too much energy and be too fatigued moving forward.  This tactic proved wise as I could recover at the top when the path leveled out.

Overall, the race was a winding and weaving trail with obstacles all along the way: avoiding numerous roots, running alongside the water and doing my best not to turn an ankle with the awkward slopes. This was a fantastic experience and without a doubt, will not be my last trail race.

I am already looking forward to the next one…

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Meeting A Living Legend

How I Got to Run Side by Side Bill Rodgers

22 Time Marathon WINNER Bill Rodgers Endorses Run4Papa!

I I was told there was a man named Bill who had run the Boston Marathon 4 times and would be the keynote speaker.  Whether it was because I was up at the crack of dawn, or just flat out didn’t hear the information clearly, I was thrilled to be part of any event partnering running with a local charity. I filmed the registration of the event, some warm-up exercises and did an introduction for our staff. I saw Bill speaking to some people, taking pictures, and signing autographs. It was sinking in that I had not heard the whole story about this man but I had to prep for the race.

We counted down from 10 and the race began.  I got out of the gate quickly as I had to film the start, portions of the race, and an interview with Bill afterwards.  I ran about halfway and stopped in order to film some of the runners.  As I saw Bill approaching (he had gotten a late start due to being swarmed by fans), I felt comfortable with my footage and continued running the second half of the 5K. He had was been running alone at a steady pace…

We struck up a conversation about running immediately and briefly discussed how international the sport has become over the past couple of decades.  “There are races anywhere and everywhere. No matter what the language or location, you can challenge yourself on any part of the globe,” said Bill.  My immediate curiosity got the best of me and I asked him, “Is it true you have run the Boston Marathon 4 times?” Without being pretentious or condescending he replied,

“Actually I ran it 17 times. I won it 4.”

To tell you I wanted to crawl in a cave and hibernate for a season or two is being awfully generous.

I am positive he sensed my embarrassment; however, we continued running and talked as if we had been friends for years. He was so grounded and friendly.  I asked him how many marathons he had won. “22. Boston 4 times, New York City 4 times, Rio de Janeiro, Stockholm, Japan…” I asked him about the pressure of 3-peating the Boston Marathon from ’78-80 (he informed me of the exact dates ) and he just had a confidence about him that was contagious.

He just loves to run.

He asked me “Have you ever considered running a marathon?”  It was this question that lead me to explain the Run 4 Papa campaign. He mentioned he once ran the Beijing Marathon and came up 1 mile short. My face must’ve shifted color and expression as Bill chuckled and said,

“Well, I was trying to win it and not just finish!”

As we were nearing the finish line, he offered his full support for the cause and asked me if he could endorse the website on camera.  Here was a living legend offering his endorsement to raise awareness about PPA. I was floored and honored.

After our interview, Bill was kind enough to give me his contact information and said, “Make sure you call me when you get back to Charlotte.”

I guarantee this time I will be well prepared for our conversation…

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Testimonials

Have a good story to share about Dr. Louis “Papa” Heyman?

Want to say something directly to “Papa”?

Please feel free to share any thoughts, feelings or memories that come to mind by writing: [email protected]


“CONGRATULATIONS again! This video montage is so powerful it took my breath away! Your vision, preparedness, and follow-through were remarkable and so inspirational. You are truly an amazing person (and talented at fundraising!), and you and your family should be so proud of your hard work and devotion to this cause and resulting major accomplishment. It’s clear that so many people grew in many ways from all of your efforts, and of course P.P.A. is so lucky to have such a dedicated champion. Kudos, and we can’t wait to see what’s next!” – Margot Shapiro, Newport Beach, CA


“GREAT video, Jason. Congrats to you for your ambitious “Journey” and reaching your goal, both in the funds raised and the completion of the Great Wall Marathon. You make me proud!” -Dr. Jay Staub, Dallas, TX


“Having walked a portion of The Great Wall, we can appreciate the degree of difficulty negotiating those steep inclines. Congratulations on your successful marathon, but it was even more than just running a great distance, rather a test of commitment to a worthy and noble cause.Thanks for the wonderful video of your journey because it’s a journey we all accompanied you on in spirit. Your Papa is a very fortunate man to have a grandson as dedicated as you, who through his unfortunate illness have been able to focus the light on a horrible disease requiring more money for research to find a cure. Unfortunately, it may not come in his life time, but you, through the support you’ve been able to garner have helped to shorten that time. Once again, congratulations on a job well done.” -Rose and Harry Sultz, Ontario, Toronto


“Watching the video. OMG Jason. I laughed, I cried but mostly I kept thinking about your accomplishments. You are amazing. I am speechless.” -Carolyn Lanyi, Commerce Township, MI


“It has been a pleasure to meet and work with you. Who ever knew how far this would go when you started out? I have been happy to be a part of this journey and think you are a fantastic person. You had the energy to keep things going and your tremendous work ethic has paid off. This is an unbelievable accomplishment. Who is crazy enough to go out and say they will raise $50k for a dementia that 99% of people have never heard off. I can probably say that no one in the world has done so much to bring awareness to PPA research as you have done in the last 5 months. Your grandfather must be incredibly proud. It brings a smile to my face and make me think of my grandfather who I had an incredible relationship with. Thanks again for taking us on this journey with you.” -Kevin Connolly, Chicago, IL


“Your race was a gift to others; incredibly tough which must make it so much more meaningful. You ran GREAT!” 4-time NYC and Boston Marathon Winner Bill Rodgers, Boston, MA


“I finally had down time to watch the incredible videos!!! I’ve watched them 3 times. Just wonderful. What an accomplishment. SOOOOOOOOOOO GLAD we were there with you. May this be one of many remarkable journeys that you will navigate in your future as you clearly have all the potential in the world! I am beyond proud, as that race was beyond brutal. The money you raised for PPA beyond remarkable! All good things to follow. You have earned it and well deserve it. Love you so much and can’t wait to share the next adventure. You keep me young! All my love always…Mom” -Shelley Boschan, Bloomfield Hills, MI (#1 supporter)


“I once read in a magazine that the average number of strides that it takes to complete a marathon is between 52,800 and 55,000! Think about it, at just over 90 cents a stride that is one hell of a lot of work! You should feel very proud as most of the people you will know during your lifetime will never put themselves out for a worthy cause the way that you have already demonstrated that you are willing to! What an outstanding accomplishment!!!” -Maury Feuerman, West Bloomfield, MI


“Your video is AMAZING Jason! It almost felt like we were there with you! Such an incredible journey, and I truly appreciate your sharing it with me. Loved your background music! Who would think Drowning Pool and the Great Wall of China would ever meet each other? Keep up the great work!” -Sandi Constantino-Thompson, Charlotte, NC


Way to go Jason…you conquered an unbelievable challenge! When I went to China many years ago, I climbed a small portion of the Great Wall; I remember how uneven and difficult it was just to WALK those steps. You should be very proud for what you’ve done in your Papa’s honor, and I applaud you! -Joy Gorback, San Diego, CA


“Congratulations Jason! That is truly an incredible accomplishment in honor of Papa. I am full of pride right now!” Jonathan Boschan, Los Angeles, CA


“”LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!! So happy for you, proud of you, and inspired by you! You got me choked up! The video was daunting enough just looking at those steps- I cannot imagine doing it! We should put a team together and do a local half marathon/marathon that we can direct contributions to your cause sometime this year or next!” -Christy Churchill Magas, Charlotte, NC


“SO PROUD OF YOU! You set out to do something most people only dream about and you made it a reality. You put so much hard work and dedication Into this and I am truly amazed by you! SO, SO proud! Now take a rest, you deserve it!” Wendy Moss, West Bloomfield, MI


“I felt chills, butterflies, the same adrenaline from that day, tears started coming down…amazing video!!! You did it!! We did it!! Soooo proud of you and all that you’ve done for this cause, for your PAPA! You are awesome! Can’t wait to see what’s next!” -Lyssette Barbosa, San Diego, CA, Great Wall of China Marathoner 2012


“Mazel Tov on this amazing accomplishment! I’m speechless and truly impressed with your determination, devotion and emotional fortitude! There are so few people who can move mountains and change the landscape – you are one of those remarkable human beings who have taught us all what it means to rise to the occasion. Thank you for your many gifts! Please tell Papa we will all continue the fight and work hard to make sure that PPA, FTD and Alzheimer’s disease are conditions of the past! With deep appreciation and admiration…” -Melissa Kahn, Chicago, Illinois


“Congrats congrats congrats congrats! I read your incredible story over lunch today. I’m so proud of you and wanted to drop you a quick line to say how inspiring you are! What a fantastic cause sand o well executed. Your story is extremely well written and evokes visualizations so well that I feel as though I were there with you. You should write a book on this journey if you have not started already and be on all the talk show circuits!” -Kristin Lusn, Royal Oak, Michigan


“I don’t know how you did it, but the whole thing is just an amazing accomplishment. Couldn’t be more grateful for what you’ve done for this worthy cause and for your grandfather. You seem to have a gift for this kind of thing. It is wonderful that someone with your talent and determination is trying not just to help Papa, but the elderly in general. Thank you for having such a big heart.” -Rex Lanyi, Commerce Township, MI


“All I can say is WOW!! Loved looking at all the pics and reading your commentary. You are truly amazing, inspirational, and a fighter! I can’t even imagine doing that, despite the cramps, exhaustion, and dehydration…crazy tale about the soap! That is amazing footage! I felt like I was there! I am chuckling at the “lots of beer” at the end! You are seriously amazing! What a go-getter! I know your Grandfather is beaming:)” -Dorothy Campbell, Tega Cay, South Carolina


“You are an inspiration to many, including myself. Mazel tov on your amazing accomplishments – both by accomplishing a personal goal of conquering the Great Wall and raising funds to support important research. May this be the start of many great things for you!” -Brent Pliskow, Berkley, Michigan


“Well done Jason, a masterclass in what can be achieved when you put your mind and body into doing something! Your papa must be so proud.” -Nicola Comerford, Wellington, New Zealand


“Just got the wonderful news and had to congratulate you on your amazing efforts. What you have done is truly remarkable and inspiring! I want to wish you the best in your journey to China and the race and expect to hear about your experience when you return. As a board member of CNADC I want to thank you for all you’ve done to help us and so many families impacted by PPA.” -Melissa Kahn, Chicago, IL


“Jason, you have done an amazing job of raising awareness of PPA to countless individuals around the country! Now you can relax and enjoy the run!” -Barbara Monroe, Chicago, IL


“Congratulations, and THANK YOU from those of us who are working towards helping those affected by PPA. Your work matters in a big way, and is inspiring on so many levels. Good luck running the marathon. We’ll be sending you good vibes and lots of energy!” Dr. Jennifer Medina, Chicago, IL


“Jason, you are truly a man of your convictions and the voice for our hopes and dreams to one day find a cure for PPA. BRAVO!” – Linda Hensel,


“Congratulations! Wow! I can’t even imagine how tough this must have been – sounds utterly grueling. So proud to have been a very small part of your “team” with my donation. Only 570 finishers? Amazing. Great job, inspiring story. I only wish I had found your website sooner! So… what’s next?;)” -Karen Fog, London, UK


Your fundraising efforts are amazing. It’s great you’ve reached the $50K mark. That is incredible -Maureen Mizwicki, Chicago, IL


“Mazel Tov! on your marathon and the entire Run4Papa campaign over the last year. It’s been very inspiring to watch you decide to do something big and go out and make it happen.” -Caryn Noveck, Manhattan, New York


“Huge accomplishment! I think you’ve inspired a lot of people with your efforts. You should be very proud of yourself as you know tons if people are proud of you.” -Ryan McCarihan, Charlotte, North Carolina


“Congratulations on your run and your amazing achievement. I know how hard it is to raise money no matter how good the cause and what you did was truly a feat. I’m really proud of you. It’s exciting to watch how passionate you are about the cause and how determined you’ve been. I know good will come from your efforts.” -Laura Noveck, Bloomfield Hills, MI


“Have a safe and enjoyable adventure in China. What an accomplishment! What a tribute! Run Jason Run…” -Rob Pliskow, Huntington Woods, MI


“You are really wonderful and incredible Jason. I have been slowly spreading the word about your website, in hopes of educating others and in raising funds. I took my mom out for dinner last night, and told her the story of what you are doing, including the marathon, which she was very touched by. Then I told her about the t-shirt, and she just smiled soooo big and was beyond touched and thrilled. Now we’re joking that she’ll be in the marathon on the Great Wall. She had been an avid world traveler, so that’s especially meaningful to her. And she loved that you sent your very best to her. Thank you so much for doing something so important and helpful! What great fundraising work you’re doing and the difference it’s apparently making.” -Helen Kasic, Chicago, IL


“It is with much admiration that I send my congratulations and support to you!!! Your remarkable dedication to this cause must make your whole family very proud and I know how deeply grateful everyone at the CNADC is for your tremendous support of PPA research.vI hope that you have an amazing time in China and the experience (one of many!) of a lifetime! With much gratitude…” -Darby Morhardt, Chicago, IL


“If we could only eradicate at least ONE degenerative disease in our lifetime it would be a milestone! But I certainly wish you luck and safe travels/runs on your Papa’s behalf. I’ll be thinking of you week after next!” – Suzanne Tilghman, Waxhaw, NC


“Not only am I very impressed with how you have grown Run4Papa but the actual miles you have run! It’s inspiring to watch someone have a vision and actually execute. Good luck with everything and I look forward to watching Run4Papa continue to grow and succeed.” -Noah Stern, Manhattan, NY


“I think what you’re doing on behalf of “Papa Louie” is amazing and remarkable! I know what you’re doing must be making “Papa Louie” so proud as well! You’ve shown yourself, and everyone else, just a little of what you’re capable of! Good luck with your financial goal, and have fun running the actual marathon!” -Suzy Boschan, West Bloomfield, MI


“I support Jason in his quest to find a cure! Run4papa, Jason!” -Judith Leff, Rossmoor, CA


“Wishing you all the very best for your run Jason. This has been a massive undertaking and you have accomplished so much, I am
confident you will meet your goal. You know I will always have great respect for your grandfather, he is a wonderful man.” -Joan McGirr, Charlotte, NC


“Jason, I am so proud of what you are doing! Keep it up and give your Papa a hug for me:)” -Holly Martinez, San Diego, CA


“Yesterday, this touching video crossed my radar and it reminded me of the ability of a single person with passion to DO SOMETHING life changing. I showed this to the boys and Max shared it with is class. He said he was surprised how it affected them and prompted a lot of conversation. I can only hope that someday my kids will follow in Jason’s footsteps and make a difference.” -Kristin Mapstone, Corrales, New Mexico


“I stumbled across your website and I think what you’re doing is amazing-it’s such a blessing to still have a grandparent in your life! I took care of my Grandmother for about 4 years as she suffered from dementia and pancreatic cancer. It really was an eye opening experience for me and since her passing I’ve been really inspired to learn more about the disease and connect with others who have been affected by dementia/PPA/Alzheimer’s. I’ve been telling my soon to be kindergarteners about Run4Papa and showing them pics of your trip. They think what you’re doing is really cool and one kid said ‘you’re probably super fast and could go to the Olympics!’ It’s important to show people, especially kids, that you can absolutely make a difference int the world. Keep those pics coming.. 🙂 -Holly Minter, Charlotte, North Carolina.” -Holly Minter, Charlotte, North Carolina


“Your papa reminded me of my grandfather and how special a bond we had.  Your grandfather is very lucky to have such a great grandson.  Also just wanted to let you know at the Aphasia Group we went to on Saturday, they played your video and it helped educate over 75 people about PPA.” -Karen Kelly on behalf of Joanne Coggins, Justice for Aphasia, Boston, Massachusetts


“It is touching to see how you care for your family member. Good luck on the Hancock run and even more for the great wall of China. I would like to address you all my best wishes and encouragement for this big endaeavor and both you and your “papa” keep hope that things will get better and we (as researchers) are keeping people like you, stories like you, in our minds daily to remember.” -Pacale Lacor, Chicago, IL


“Jason, I love what you are doing to honor your ‘Papa’ and to bring awareness of and raise money for the research of PPA. It is a terrible disease, robbing my young at heart Mother of so much of her wonderful, social personality. I pray that a cure (or at least treatment) is found soon!” -Musicmama23, Youtube


“Thanks for what you are doing! Greater Awareness for PPA is Key!..my dear wife of 50 years has suffered with it for at least 7 years now. Before my very eyes during this period I have watched an accomplished English Teacher, whose world was words gradually become a virtual mute. “Yes” and “No” comprise the only words she can bring up on her own. The disease affects writing, reading, keyboarding, everything associated with speech… she is down now to just being able to write her name! No meds, no treatment protocol! Really at this point little or no hope. To say it is heartbreaking is an understatement, but maybe the best description we have.” -Larry Entwistle, Colorado Springs, CO


“One man will embark on a mission equivocal to climbing Willis Tower, jogging to the Hancock Building, walking to the top, and then running the 24 miles roundtrip to the University’s Evanston campus, all to support research at Northwestern for primary progressive aphasia, a form of dementia that has stricken his grandfather.” -Northwestern Medicine Newletter, Chicago, IL


“Jason- you are an inspiration! I took a look at your website and thought it was very well done and very moving. Best wishes for blessings and success on your quest.” -Lisa King, Senior VP of Marketing at Raymour and Flanigan, Manhattan, NY


“I watched your video and I am so moved. Not only will I be donating but I would like to ask EVERYONE to pass this on. If we can get it to go viral it will bring SO much attention to this illness. The love really shows – you and your grandfather are so fortunate to have each other!” -Jill Schlan Sider, Chicago, Illinois


“We are very excited about this upcoming event. It is for such a great cause that so many people work hard for every day at Northwestern University. If you don’t know about PPA, this is your chance to learn why it deserves your attention!! Thanks to Jason for all of his efforts in raising awareness and money for this important cause.  See you on Feb 24th!” -Jamie E, Chicago, Illinois, Yelp


“It is so amazing what you are doing to help so many people in need.  We are honored to be friends with such a caring person who could organize something like this.  We are happy to see how much Run4Papa has already raised, and we hope that number increases everyday.  Your grandpa should be proud of what an amazing person you are!  We have truly enjoyed learning about PPA, and we hope, with the effort of you and others like you, that there will one day be a cure for this disease.  Much love and respect!” -Derek and Shana Staub, Dallas, TX


“This site was emailed to my mother just recently from Northwestern in Chicago. My dad, Phil T., age 63, just passed away in early Dec. 2011 from PPA. The person emailing my mother asked her permission to add our dad’s name to your shirt in the Great Wall of China run. She said ok. I read the email, a few tears fell, I watched your “What Would You Do For the Cause” video, & shared it on my fb page along with the “Hustle Up the Hancock” info. Thank you, is all I can say! You will touch so many people by doing this & having this site. I’m positive my dad’s spirit will be there that day in China with you (even though you have no idea who he was), cheering you on, as he loved the outdoors & sports! Good luck to you & may you be watched over from above!” -Noelle Thouvein


“What a wonderful thing to do to support finding a way to preveit is so amazing what you are doing! I know your grandpa is proud and all those who will be helped with your efforts to find a cure PPA. It is a horrible disease, and equally as horrible is that so little is known about it. My mother, a wonderful, loving, caring, talented, educated woman is suffering from this disease…no longer able to speak, write, read and care for herself. Thank you for helping make a difference for your Papa, all PPA patients and those of us who love and care for them. Have a great run!” -Flyingtrikes, YouTube


“I just found your video, website and facebook page. My dad passed away this past Dec. 5th of PPA. He was 63. He was diagnosed in the beginning of 2005 but had symptoms before that. He was a patient at Northwestern, living just over an hour from downtown Chicago. We were just asked if his name could be put on the shirt you’ll be wearing in China and my mom said we would be honored. I am so thankful for what you are doing and am looking forward to following you on facebook.” -Renee Chernick, Bloomington, IL


“What a wonderful thing you are doing for your grandfather. My dear sweet brother in law has PPA and is so young at heart. I cry when I think of what this disease has done to him. He has the biggest heart like I am sure your grandfather has. Thank you for doing what you are doing for all those suffering with PPA.” -Lorigapinski, YouTube


“Your film really was moving! You have the best of both parents in you and I know how proud they (and we all) are of you. We will keep following this journey and cannot wait to see the films from China.” -Sandy and Sheldon Borkin, Boston, Massachusetts


“Proud to support Run4Papa and the great cause. Go get’ em!” -Jordan Sherman, Manhattan, New York


“It is our pleasure to support you on this wonderful adventure!” -Jared Boschan and Shira Goldberg – Manhattan, New York


“Congratulations on this wonderful idea and your dedication towards accomplishing it. We will be following your “journey” and you can count on us to root you on.” -Terry and Howard Tenebaum, West Bloomfield, MI


“I just got you to a even $25,000!!! Hope that helps.” -Logan Abrams, Charlotte, NC


“Happy to help, it’s a most worthy cause. Hope you reach your goal!”  -Otto Kern, West Blomfield, MI


“What a beautiful thing to do for your Papa – very moving. Your efforts will hopefully lead to a cure one day. He has such a kind and gentle expression:)” -FrenchAmGirlies, YouTube


“Congrats on your accomplishments! Keep up the great work…you’ve found your own way to leave a positive “carbon copy” in this world. I admire and respect your ambition to help make a difference for those directly and indirectly affected by PPA. You are awesome! Best of luck in your endeavors in China!  We’ll be thinking of you and wishing you well. Love your friends in San Diego” -Wendie Zepedia, Barbara Paterna, Holly Martinez, Kendra Zamora, Enedina Rangel, San Diego, CA


“WOW! Amazing. Kol haKavod” -Rabbi Paul Yedwab, MI


“I am so impressed by your efforts… your Grandpa is a lovely, lovely man! Hopefully, many others will now get on board to raise money for research!” -Ednasaltz, YouTube


“I have known many afflicted with this illness. Love to help!” -Rabbi Harold S. Loss, MI


“It was really our pleasure to contribute to Jason’s cause” -Shelley and Neil Perl, San Diego, CA


“Much success to find in your run to find a cure for PPA” -Richard and Marilyn Moss, West Bloomfield, MI


“I was thrilled to see the article in the Livonia Observer this past week about Dr. Heyman. You are a very lucky young man, as I know you are aware, to call this darling man your grandfather!  I first met Dr. Heyman in 1994 when I was in search of a pediatrician for my soon to be born baby. I had interviewed a couple of other doctors, without feeling a connection or even any sort of great confidence, and then I met him.  I was so impressed with Dr. Heyman’s ability to make me comfortable as a new mom, his willingness to sit down and just talk to me and not make me feel hurried or pressured. I was immediately at ease and confident and comfortable with him and I knew he was the one to take care of my baby. And take care he did with both of my babies.  He could walk into the room and tell you what was wrong with your child before he even examined them; he would examine them, but he already knew what was wrong! And he would explain to me what needed to be done. Calmly, patiently making sure that I understood. I followed Dr. Heyman from Metro Peds to Brentwood, and then he retired. I miss him and his gentle ways. I don’t know if there has ever been, or will be again, another doctor like Dr. Heyman. Thank you so much for letting me know how he is doing, what he needs in return for all the care that he gave my children, and for that warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that he is so loved by his family.  I wish you a very successful campaign to raise awareness of PPA and a safe trip. Next time you see him, give him a big hug and tell him thank you for me.” -Karen Greenwood, MI


“We are honored to contribute to contribute to this worthy cause” -Steve and Lisa Kaplan, MI


“I just want to write and say your video is amazing! Our center and families affected by PPA are so grateful for all of your work and dedication to the cause.” -Mary O’hara, social worker at the CNADC, Chicago, IL


“Dr. Heyman was my children’s pediatrician. He was always so patient and kind with them. When they were older he told me that he had retaken his pediatric boards and was pleased he passed with flying colors. I will always have a warm spot in my heart for Dr. Heyman.” -Patricia Barnum, Redford, MI


“I loved Jason’s video…heartfelt and touching…we’re rooting for him!” -Enid and Gary Goodman, MI


“This is an awesome journey and quite a tribute to a wonderful, wonderful man!” -Ilene Citrin, Chevy Chase, MD


“Your mission is admirable and inspiring” -Michele Lewis, MI


“Good luck in your venture!” -Cindy and David Pinto, TX


“Best wishes for you in your bid to run the Great Wall of China Marathon! I had a grandparent on each side with Alzheimer’s Disease and my father-in-law. I admire your ambition.” -Ellen Woodward Potts, Tuscaloosa, AL


“We were moved by your love for your grandfather, your family, and by your dedication to the cause of PPA research” -Joseph and Linda LoDuca, Bloomfield Hills, MI


“I really admire what you are doing. There isn’t anything in the world I wouldn’t do for my dad. As a nurse, I know a lot of research is being done around the clock. Good luck with the race, I will be following you!” -Tracey Maken, Fountain Valley, CA


“What a wonderful thing you are doing for your grandfather and for his disease.  As my mother would have said….”you’re such a mensch!” -Debbie Ostrow, San Diego, CA


“I have wonderful memories of your Grandfather’s sweet smile whenever I visited their Livonia office.  What a special guy he is! I am thrilled to donate and look forward to following Jason’s adventure. I think the world of Lou and wish him well.” -Linda Blondy-Glass, West Bloomfield, MI


“Very excited about this inititive. I wish you all the luck and success in your fundraising!” -ilana Gorback, Denver, CO


 “Jason I am so proud of what you are doing for my uncle, your grandfather. You are such an awesome grandson. My father would be so proud of what you are doing for his brother. I am happy to be a part of Run4Papa and I support you all the way!” -Faith Golden, Encinco, CA


“I weep in appreciation of your strength and fortitude in honor of your Papa” -Jo Strausz Rosen, West Bloomfield, MI


“I am sorry to know PPA has happened to your Papa. My memories of him are vivid as an man devoted to his work and his family” -Michele Lewis, Larchmont, NY


“I just read the article in the Farmington Observer about Dr. Heyman. He was my pediatrician for all six of our children. I started with him when he was with Dr. F. Goudie on Seven Mile, then Dr. Blondy, Dr. Schnaar, Dr. Wagenberg. Our children range from 56 to 31…..and now eight grandchildren. They are all well and got a good start in life, thanks to Dr. Heyman…..a real blessing.” -Susan and Richard Latimer, Farmington Hills, MI


“How wonderful is it that you are devoting this time in honor of your grandfather.  It reflects a wonderful soul passed down from generation to generation. Wishing him wellness and serenity. Kol Hakavod Jason. Simply amazing.” -Marcy Borofsky, West Bloomfield, MI


“I suffer from PPA and want to increase awareness of the disability in the UK, where it’s little known. The research will not help me but I hope it will help sufferers in the future. Good luck to your initiative!” -Rita Harris, Oxford, UK


“Many of you know the story of my birth: that I arrived too early, weighed less than 2 lbs and dropped to 21 oz before rallying (stubborn even then, I guess!).  The Lord saved me — but he used the hands, brains and hearts of Dr. Heyman and of his partner, Dr. Blondy to do it. Dr. Heyman has touched SO many lives! Now there’s a chance to reach out to him and his family. I can never repay him for saving me, but here’s a way to support him and his family when they need it most.”  Mary-Therese Courtade, Paw Paw, MI


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My Journey Begins

Hello, my name is Jason F. Boschan and I am embarking on a journey to create awareness and raise funds for PPA research locally, nationally and internationally by running the 2012 GREAT WALL OF CHINA MARATHON on behalf of my grandfather and others battling this disease.

I have partnered with the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Northwestern University to raise a minimum of $20,000. My grandfather, Dr. Louis “Papa” Heyman, 86 years young, recently stopped practicing as a pediatrician after 50+ years due to his diagnosis of PPA. This has been a very difficult adjustment for him as well as for all of our family.

Please help support my journey to bring global awareness and help find a cure for PPA.