Virtual Miles for Minds 5K supports JFK Center for Brain Injuries

JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute Center for Brain Injuries team member Cheryl Dougherty trains for the Virtual Miles for Minds 5K.

New Jersey residents from around the state are running in the virtual Miles for Minds 5K in June to support Hackensack Meridian JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute’s Center for Brain Injuries, which works to restore real-life skills to people with serious brain injuries.

The 5K has grown since it began 11 years ago, and last year more than 1,000 people ran or walked through Roosevelt Park in Edison to support the center and its mission. Some of people running in the race have recovered from serious brain injury — and for them the event is the culmination of their rehabilitation and recovery, according to information provided by Hackensack Meridian Health.

This year, because of the need for social distancing, the 5K is continuing, and supporters are still creating teams at, but participants are running on their own. Many are then posting photos on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #Miles4Minds and submitting their photos to [email protected] for the event website.

“We are thankful to all those who are continuing to raise funds to support the Center for Brain Injuries even though we can’t run together this year,” said Brian Greenwald, M.D., director of the Center for Brain Injuries, JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, in the statement. “We appreciate everyone’s dedication to our mission to improve lives for people with brain injuries. Their support really lifts the spirits of all of us at the center, especially in these uncertain times.”

The Virtual 5K runs until July 27. There’s a small registration fee and participants will receive Miles for Minds T-shirts and other merchandise through the mail. For the first time, there is a fundraiser option with no registration fee required. Once people register, they can complete the 5K (3.l miles) whenever and wherever they prefer.

The Center for Brain Injuries provides a highly collaborative team to provide state-of-the-art treatment options in the Brain Trauma Unit, Extended Recovery Unit and Cognitive Rehabilitation Care. Its physicians are Board Certified in Brain Injury Medicine and work closely with highly specialized nurses, therapists, social service professionals and other experts. The center involves and supports the families of brain-injured patients, which includes those who have experienced stroke, traumatic injuries or other brain injuries or illness.

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