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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Oct 16, 2020

260-Mile Walk Ending This Monday, Public Invited to Join for a Cause

On Monday, officials from JAR Of Hope foundation will finish their eight-day, 260-mile “Walk For Their Lives,” from Washington, D.C. to Old Bridge. Their goal was to raise awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a rare but fatal childhood disease. Children are born with Duchenne – and there is no cure.

JAR Of Hope was established in 2013 by Jim and Karen Raffone of Manalapan, when their then-4-year-old son, James Anthony “Jamesy,” was diagnosed with Duchenne.

“Walk For Their Lives” began in Washington this past Monday with a JAR Of Hope contingent of a dozen, led by Jim Raffone and Treasurer Joe Ippolito, along with parents of kids with Duchenne. They walked during the daytime, carrying backpacks, and camped out at night.

This Monday, Oct. 19, they’ll walk 24 miles from Sportika in Manalapan Township to the last sponsored checkpoint at All American Ford Old Bridge. Then they’ll walk two miles to Lombardi Field in Old Bridge, where they’ll be greeted in a special ceremony by Mayor Owen Henry and Congressman Chris Smith around 1 pm.

“We’ll have walked 33 to 35 miles a day through D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey,” Jim Raffone said, “with heavy backpacks and sometimes in driving rain. And we’re inviting Central Jersey folks to walk along with us for the last mile or two from All American Ford Old Bridge to Lombardi Field on Monday.”

Jamesy Raffone is now 11 and participating in a year-long Duchenne study called Operation Lifeline. The results are encouraging, but the costs are staggering – JAR Of Hope pays $35,000 a month for the five participants from the U.S. and abroad.

“We can’t wait to get back home to Central Jersey,” Jim Raffone said. “Local folks have been very supportive. And it would be great if some of them joined us for the walk to Lombardi Field.”