Next Thursday, March 24, Jason Romero of Denver, Colo. will embark on a journey across the U.S. – by foot. Starting in Los Angeles, Romero will run roughly 3,200 miles, to Boston, in the span of around 60 days. Romero will cross 14 state lines (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts) to inspire Americans, sighted and not.
“I was given the gift of being able to run, and I want to use that gift to make this earth a better place,” said Romero. “Running has helped me in times of joy and struggle and now, I want to use it to help others.”
With just 15% of his sight remaining, Romero is running coast to coast to share his story in hopes of inspiring others who have found themselves in similar darkness. “I’m raising awareness and support to help others rise above their circumstances and experience the hope I have through physical activity and community,” said Romero.
Once an honor student, attorney, business executive and CEO of a non-profit school for children with Autism, Romero lost hope when it all disappeared at 43 years old. “I was scared and isolated,” said Romero. “My central vision was 20/200. It’s like I was seeing the world through a small tunnel.” That year, he got involved with United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) and started running again. “It was the support of USABA and a community of blind athletes across the country that pulled me out of the depression I’d found myself in.”
“Jason is an extraordinary athlete who demonstrates perseverance. His VisionRunUSA across America will raise awareness about issues affecting the blind including the high unemployment rate of 70%, an obesity rate of 66%, and a depression rate 2 times the rate of the general population,” said Mark Lucas, executive director of the USABA.
Romero’s journey begins in Los Angeles at Santa Monica Pier on March 24th and ends in Boston at Faneuil Hall mid-June. Romero aims to run 50 miles a day but understands physical stamina and weather are potential obstacles. Followers can track Romero’s progress over the next 2 months on his website (www.visionrunusa.com) and Facebook page (Jason’s Run Across America – visionrunusa).