Manalapan dad walks 300 miles from Mass. to NJ to fight son’s disease
Jim Raffone is a fighter. So much so that he actually got into a ring with Tommy "The Tiger" Moose at a celebrity boxing event in Atlantic City. He's also walked from Washington, D.C., to Old Bridge.
Now Raffone heads north to raise money to help his son Jamsey, and others, also fighters, who suffer from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Beginning July 10, Raffone, Freehold resident Joe Ippolito and Perth Amboy resident Martin Cintron will begin their "300 Miles Of Love" journey at the University of Massachusetts, the institution that monitors Jamesy's disease. They'll walk an average of 40 miles a day, then camp out at night.
The three men will camp at All American Subaru in Old Bridge, one of 13 sponsoring Subaru dealerships along the route on their last night July 17 before finishing their last 37 miles at Frogbridge Day Camp in Millstone with a Family barbeque with games and prizes.
Jim called me on New Jersey 101.5 to talk about the walk and give us an update on his son.
"Jamesy is well, above the average statistics, but he walks with a walker."
How did the idea for the walk come about?
"The idea came about for the walk because we had such success with our 260 mile walk from D.C. to Old Bridge," says Raffone. "Ford was our main sponsor for that and after meeting with Subaru executives, they wanted to be apart of it, too. All American Subaru is our main sponsor in Old Bridge."
What does Jamsey think about what his father is doing?
"Jamesy thinks I'm crazy. Especially after fighting in Atlantic City a few weeks back on the Lama Odom card on PPV."
Tell us about JAR of Hope
"JAR of Hope (Jamesy's initials: James Anthony Raffone) is a charity I started to fund research to save his life. I'm proud to say we have been able to help dozens of more kids" Raffone adds.
"Currently we have a human study we started 12/19. We currently are providing four children with an experimental compound, known as JAR914. This therapy cost 25,000 / child / 90 days (100k/quarter)."
As someone who watched his wife suffer through breast cancer, I can tell you that it's really hard to watch someone you love not only suffer but go through a disease that could be fatal. You feel helpless and powerless.
Jim Raffone is doing what he can to take that power back. You can help. If you'd like to make a donation to JAR of Hope, click here.