Stories From Main Street: NJ Doctor Running Cross-County For A Cause

By WCBS Newsradio 880

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. (WCBS 880) — A doctor from New Jersey inspired by 1994’s “Forrest Gump” is taking on a major challenge.

“What did Forrest Gump say? ‘Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get,’” said Dr. Larry Gorgin.

The 64-year-old chiropractor from Franklin Lakes was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and plans to bravely face his own challenged to help others during a 1,200 mile run across the country.

“This is Strides for Humanity and our intention is to rally and bring back that American spirit of freedom and free-thinking and celebrating that American spirit,” he said.

His initial plan was to run coast to coast, but following his diagnosis, he decided to trim the trip.

“At the urging of my family, originally we're planning to run through the United States from end to end, Patterson to Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura, California,” Grogin explains. “We switched it from a 3,000-mile run to a 1,200-mile run and we're gonna hop, skip and jump. We’re going to visit each week, different key cities in Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Provincetown, Madison, Wisconsin, southern Oregon, Colorado – the mountains of Colorado – Big Sur, California, San Francisco.”

In each place, the charity has ambassadors who will take him and fellow runners to other charity events or interesting events in the area so they can spread awareness about their charity of choice.  

“We're running for the charity OASIS here in Patterson, New Jersey – it's a haven for women and children,” Gorgin says.

With so much acrimony in the world these days, he hopes to bridge divides and bring people together as they jogged alongside him for a spell.

“We’re inviting people to join us from young, old, rich, poor, small, tall, liberal, conservative, Muslim, Jew, Arab – I don't know what I missed,” says the 64-year-old. “We want people to come out and for us to get a chance to hang out and meet with them.”

Just like the titular character Forrest Gump, Grogin wants to bring out the best in people.

“My wish would be that people would be inspired and say, ‘if this old guy with Parkinson's disease, that’s a pretty mediocre athlete but has a kind of a determined will can do this, I can do anything,’” he said.