Watching a loved one face the challenges of living with Dementia can be devastating. However, it was this very devastation that inspired Jay Asparro to do something special. After watching his grandmother Ann Asparro slowly slip away while battling Alzheimer's disease, Jay knew he had to take a stand, and he did more than that!
Since 2016, Jay has helped raise awareness for Alzheimer's disease and the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center in the annual Ann Asparro Run. Three years later, Jay has demonstrated no signs of slowing down.
For 2019, Jay is upping the ante to accomplish 100 miles in a single day by running from Long Island's North Shore to its South Shore to raise a total of $100,000 for the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center. Continue reading to learn more about the Ann Asparro Run and how you can do much more than cheer Jay on from the sidelines to help make a difference.
Making a Difference One Mile at a Time
While Jay wanted to make a difference, he was like many others and didn't know where to start or how. He often found himself at odds between finding a way to help and finding time for his busy career and young family.
Jay desired to make a hands-on difference — he wanted to increase awareness and help other families navigate their way through the disease. Eventually, Jay merged his passion for running and his love for his grandmother into a blueprint for making a difference — one mile, one person, one family at a time.
At first, he considered running a half marathon, but felt it wouldn't make the impactful difference he desired. As a result, he challenged himself to run an Ultra Marathon of 90 miles. As the days passed prior to the first run in 2016, his mission became more defined. Jay Asparro explained:
"I'm running for my grandmother, for my parents and aunt and uncle, and for all of the other families who are suffering because of this terrible disease."
Charting a Unique Path
Once Jay decided to run, the next step was for him to chart a path. Traditionally, his family would visit Montauk for Mass at St. Therese of Lisieux every summer, so his first inclination was to run from St. Therese of Lisieux in Montauk to his home parish of St. Pius X in Plainview. When Jay charted the distance between the two points, it was exactly 89.7 miles — only 0.3 miles away from his grandmother’s age at the time.
In 2016, with some adjustments to the route, Jay finished the inaugural run of 90 miles in three days to raise money for awareness and programs through the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center. What started out as a 90-mile marathon took on a life of its own and grew into an annual inspirational campaign.
In 2017, Jay ran 75 miles over a period of two days to commemorate his grandparents' 75th wedding anniversary. In 2018, Jay competed in the Lake Placid IronMan 70.3 triathlon.
100 Miles in One Day for $100,000 for Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center
Since the inaugural Ann Asparro Run, Jay has raised over $75,000 and continued to push himself farther. For 2019, Jay is looking to raise his output and awareness even higher by completing a 100-mile run in a single day!
On November 2nd, Jay will run from Long Island's North Shore to its South Shore with a goal of raising an astonishing total of $100,000 for Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center’s hands-on programs and services. And you can do much more than cheer Jay on from the sidelines by supporting Jay's heroic run across Long Island.
How Can You Help Jay Run the Race for Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center
If you're looking to get in on Jay's amazing feat, you can help! In fact, every one of us has a meaningful role to play. Here's how you can help:
- Open your heart and wallet to make a tax-deductible charitable donation for a direct impact.
- Join us for an afternoon of games, giveaways, and BINGO on Sunday, September 8th to help raise money for Jay's amazing run for Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center.
- Donate your time by volunteering at Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center. We offer an endless range of volunteering opportunities for any age.
- Commemorate the life of a loved one with an In Honor and In Memoriam Gift.
- Encourage your organization to get involved or sponsor an event at Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center.
- Share this article on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets to show your support.
Contact Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center today at (516) 767-6856 with any questions about the 2019 Ann Asparro Run.