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AAPI Joins Rock & Roll Marathon In San Antonio, Creating Awareness On Healthy Living —— Ajay Ghosh

Ajay Ghosh

Chief Editor, UNN
Media Coordinator,

The Covid pandemic has impacted all aspects of human life as never been before. The past two years have been challenging to everyone, particularly to those who are assigned with the responsibility of caring for the sick, even as hundreds of Millions are affected by the big pandemic. Physicians and other health professionals on the front lines of COVID-19 care have experienced so many unknowns during the pandemic. They’ve also put their own health and the well-being of their families on the line to provide care. 

At this critical juncture in human history, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) the largest ethnic medical organization in the country, representing the interests of over 100,000 physicians of Indian origin, is focusing on themes such as how to take care of self and find satisfaction and happiness in the challenging situations they are in, while serving hundreds of patients everyday of their dedicated and noble profession, Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President of AAPI said.  

In preparation for the upcoming 40th annual convention from June 23-26, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas with the timely theme that focusses on “Heal The Healers” and to create awareness among the public on the need for Healthy Lifestyle, AAPI Convention Team led by Dr. Jayesh Shah joined an “Rock and Roll Marathon” on Sunday, December 5th, 2021 in san Antonio, TX. 

AAPI’s participation at the Marathon was inspired and sponsored by the Botla Foundation, which provided a great kick start to AAPI’s wellness theme, pointed to the Six Pillars of Lifestyle Medicine: 1. Healthy Diet; 2. Being active; 3. Restorative sleep; 4. Managing stress; 5. Have social and supportive connections; and,  6. Avoiding abusive drugs and habits. 

Planning for joining the Rock and Roll Marathon started over three months ago, says Dr. Jayesh Shah, Chair of AAPI Convention 2022. Botla Foundation committed a donation of $25,000, However, in order to encourage Doctors to run, the Foundation initially put a caveat that they would donate $250 for every person who signs up for the half marathon. “This novel way of sponsorship did encourage many Indian doctors and other community members to register and participate in this unique marathon,” added Dr. Jayesh Shah. “We were lucky to have Dr. Akil Tahir to join us as the Chief Ambassador for the run. His presence also inspired all of us to join for this noble cause. His message of running with heart touched all of us.” 

Dozens of Doctors and community leaders joined the Rock and Roll Marathon, which had attracted over 18,000 participants from around the nation, and made this an inspiring experience for all. Dr. Ravi Botla, while thanking and congratulating all the participants at the Marathon, said, “Running with you all is an amazing experience. Several friends made their personal bests today. Hope to continue to do some physical activity (running/walking/cycling) to improve our health. On behalf of all our runners yesterday and today, Botla Foundation will donate $25,000 to AAPI, irrespective of the number of participants. We should be proud of this accomplishment. Thank you Anupama and Jayesh to provide this opportunity.”

The Botla Charitable Family Foundation is a non-profit established in 2014 by Dr. Ravi and Vijaya Botla with the intention to give to charitable causes that highlight Indian culture and traditions as well as promote health and wellness in our community.  

“After a hiatus of 5 years from long distance running, I am thrilled to announce that I completed running the half marathon in San Antonio on a PLANT BASED DIET!” Dr. Akil Taher said. “I ran to support the American Association of Physicians of Indian origin (AAPI) under the leadership of Dr. Anupama Gotimukula ad Dr. Jayesh Shah. AAPI has done some phenomenal charity work here in the US and India. Also a big thank you to the Botla family for their inspirational support to AAPI,” he added. 

“That is why in keeping with AAPI’s 2022 Convention theme of “Heal the Healers,” this idea of having these healers finally put their health first by participating in the San Antonio Rock n Roll Half Marathon came to life,” Vijaya Botla said. “There was great enthusiasm from our local Indian doctors and a wonderful camaraderie was formed. Weekly meetups and training commenced. We were blessed that Dr. Akil Taher, from Atlanta, Georgia joining our group and was able to pass on his words of wisdom to us through his book “Open Heart” and by even coming to do the race with us in San Antonio on December 5, 2021.”  

“It’s been a true privilege me, a young aspiring ‘Plant-based Lifestyle Medicine Physician’

To run my first half-marathon with my Idol, Dr. Taher. He is a living proof of the power of ‘Whole Foods Plant Based’ Diet and Physical Exercise in not just recovering from a major surgery but healing from within for a better and stronger health than before. His presenceat the Marathon inspired us to sign up for the event and support AAPI in promoting ‘health & fitness’ in our community,” stated Dr.  Bhoja R. Katipally.

Several participants at the Marathon had weekly runs at trails to prepare for the run. The team also got the expertise of Pradeep, who had recently finished Chicago marathon as the coach. He taught the participants the dynamic exercises before the run and static exercises after the run. Dr Bhoja Reddy did a book signing event on Saturday, the day before the run. Dr.Taher contributed all the money from the book sale to AAPI. 

While congratulating all the participants, organizers and sponsors, Dr. Gotimukula said, “I want to extend a few words of my appreciation to all the wonderful hearts from AAPI who participated in the Marathon. The donor, Dr. Ravi Botla did his first full Marathon. There are several in the group who did their first half marathon including Dr. Jayesh Shah! We thank the Botla Foundation who inspired us! We ran with a good heart to support AAPI. Nothing is impossible if we have the motivation inside us!!” For more details on AAPI and the 40th convention, plese visit: www.aapiusa.org
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