Woman plans 5K

Published 10:41 pm Friday, April 29, 2016

U.S. Air Force Capt. Whitney Alston was stunned when her 48-year-old father died suddenly from asthma-related complications in 2012.

“I had never known anyone who passed away from asthma-related complications,” said Alston, a 2010 Nansemond River High School graduate.

Jerome Alston, who lived in Suffolk, was a science teacher at Cradock Middle School and sponsor of the school’s mentoring program for male students, Young Men of Distinction. Whitney Alston has started the Jerome Alston Memorial Foundation to help carry on her father’s legacy of mentoring and educate people about asthma.

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The foundation’s third annual fundraiser, the Breathe Easy Asthma Awareness 5K Run/Walk & Health Expo, starts at 9:30 a.m. May 7 at Mount Trashmore. Check-in and on-site registration begins at 8:30 a.m. People can also register for the 5K at jam5k.org.

Registration is $30 for adults, $20 per child, with prices increasing by $5 on race day. Adult team prices are discounted by 10 percent for teams of five or more.

A portion of the proceeds will go toward funding the Western Tidewater Free Clinic’s asthma clinic, said Alston. Previous year’s benefactors have been the American Lung Association and the Virginia Asthma Coalition.

Retired NBA player Maurice Ager, who played for the Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves, will speak about his life as a professional athlete living with asthma, Alston said. Ager is also a rap artist who has been nominated for a Grammy.

“Asthma is a silent epidemic that plagues our community,” said Alston. “Our goal is to educate the community on the many asthma triggers we are exposed to on a daily basis and reduce the number of lives lost to this manageable condition.”