By Jorge Jones
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
More than 300 blue-clothed runners participated Saturday, Oct. 10, in the inaugural Beat Parkinson’s 5K Walk/Run at the University of the Incarnate Word.
Sponsored by Mexicanos En UIW, participants ran and walked with the purpose of raising awareness of Parkinson’s, a chronic and progressive movement disorder that affects more than a million individuals in the United States alone.
The setup for the event, which involved many UIW students, started at 5 a.m. and concluded just before noon. Cosponsors included Gold’s Gym, Target, Univision San Antonio, H-E-B, La Madeleine and others, totaling about 30.
“After a lot of hard work and dedication, we finally hosted our race,” said Diego Bravo, president of Mexicanos En UIW. “The race was a complete success with more than 300 hundred runners and about 30 sponsors. Without the runners, volunteers and the sponsors, this race wouldn’t have been possible.”
This year’s proceeds will benefit the National Parkinson’s Foundation and Alamo Area Parkinson’s Support Group. The money will be used for research, hoping that one day it can improve the lives of those that suffer from this disorder.
The opportunity to give back to the community is a goal that Mexicanos En UIW aimed to achieve. Last semester, its members provided more than 800 community service hours.
“Being the hosts of events such as the 5K run show that UIW is giving back to the community,” Bravo said. “Events of this kind allow students to participate in extracurricular activities where they can do community service, exercise, contribute to their community and have fun. This demonstrates to the public that students here are beyond the college student standard. I see this event as the beginning of a legacy for many years to come. Whenever this race takes place next year, I want to be part of it once again.”
Senior marketing major Andrea Longoria, who helped to organize the event, said her mother, Lourdes Longoria, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s more than a decade ago.
“My mother has fearlessly battled Parkinson’s disease for over 15 years now, which is why we were inspired to organize this event,” Longoria said. “This race was also inspired by my brother’s life,‘Chito,’ who passed away in a motorcycle crash last year. His dedication for improving my mother’s health and lifestyle habits was always very admirable. I know he would be proud to see his positivity truly make a difference.”