Wai Law crossed the finish line of his 320-mile journey at Stony Brook University on Sunday, July 31, a seven-day, epic run that has raised nearly $20,000 for Parkinson’s disease research and mental health support for young people on Long Island.
Law, an accountant and ultramarathon runner from Bethpage, NY, crossed the finish line at the Stony Brook University track to the sounds of a cheering throng of supporters, friends and family, completing the final leg of his run that began that morning in Huntington.
The goal of the run was to raise awareness and money for two local programs at Stony Brook University:
The Thomas Hartman Center for Parkinson’s Research, which is dedicated solely to basic science research into the causes of Parkinson’s disease and its symptoms.
The Adolescent Medicine Fund for Excellence, which helps Stony Brook’s Department of Adolescent Medicine provide mental health support and other critical resources to young people on Long Island.
“I feel that running is my passion,” Law said after finishing the run. “I’ll do whatever I want to do, and if along the way I can use it to promote something good, that’s a gift.”
Law called Parkinson’s “a horrible disease,” adding, “We don’t have a cure for it, first of all. Second, it not only affects the patient, but also their families, and it’s also something you rarely hear about.”
Law said he added adolescent mental health as a benefactor because of the similarities he saw with Parkinson’s in terms of awareness. “The last few years, I noticed that the younger generation experienced something very unique compared to our generation,” Law said. “They don’t know how to get help, and when they do they’re afraid. So it’s becoming more or less like Parkinson’s — people know about it, but don’t talk about it openly. So I’m hoping that with this, I can open people’s eyes, and their minds. And that they will positively discuss this with their kids, and young adults, and also for friends to try and understand that their peers are suffering.”
Law began the first three-day leg of his journey on July 22, leaving SBU and finishing at Orient Point. Day two saw Law trek from Orient Point to Montauk, and his third leg covered the roads from Montauk to Westhampton. He continued the quest on July 28, running from Westhampton to Seaford, then on July 29 from Seaford to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. On day six, Law ran from Brooklyn to Huntington.
Last summer, Law completed the 555-mile Empire State Trail from Buffalo to New York City and raised more than $40,000 — $22,555 for Parkinson’s Disease research at Stony Brook and $17,500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The trip was inspired by Law’s friend, Dennis Almodovar of Massapequa, whose dad, Ruben, died at age 80 in 2017.
Donations are still being accepted and encouraged. To donate by mail, make checks payable to the “Stony Brook Foundation” and indicate “Run for Mental Health/Parkinson’s Research” on the check’s memo section. Mail to: Stony Brook Foundation, Inc., 230 Administration, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-1188.
Photos from Law’s finish at SBU: