AAPI joins Rock & Roll Marathon to create awareness about healthy living


The two years of Covid pandemic have been challenging for everyone, particularly doctors and other health professionals, who have the responsibility of caring for the sick. As millions of people have been affected by COVID-19, the frontline workers have also faced hardships like never before. They have put their own health and well-being of their families on the line to provide care.

Under these circumstances, the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the largest ethnic medical organization in the country, representing over 100,000 physicians of Indian origin, is focusing on themes such as how to take care of self and find satisfaction and happiness while serving hundreds of patients every day. Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, president of AAPI, elaborated on the initiatives in a press release issued on December 7.

As a part of these initiatives, AAPI convention team led by Dr Jayesh Shah joined a ‘Rock and Roll Marathon’ On December 5 in San Antonio, Texas, with the timely theme ‘Heal The Healers’. The aim was to create awareness among the public on the need for healthy lifestyle. The event also served as preparation for the upcoming 40th annual convention of AAPI from June 23-26, 2022 in San Antonio.

Dozens of Doctors and community leaders joined the Rock and Roll Marathon, which attracted over 18,000 participants from around the nation, and made this an inspiring experience for all. Dr Ravi Botla, while thanking and congratulating the participants, 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.”

AAPI’s participation at the marathon was inspired and sponsored by the Botla Foundation, which kick-started AAPI’s wellness theme, pointed to the six pillars of lifestyle medicine: healthy diet, being active, restorative sleep, managing stress, having social and supportive connections and avoiding abusive drugs and habits.

Dr Shah, Chair of AAPI Convention 2022, said planning for the Rock and Roll Marathon started over three months ago. Botla Foundation committed a donation of $25,000, However, to encourage doctors to run, the Foundation announced 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,” Dr Shah revealed.

“We were lucky to have Dr Akil Tahir to join us as the chief ambassador for the run.” he added. “His presence also inspired all of us to join for this noble cause. His message of running with heart touched all of us.”

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 among Indian-Americans.

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 a 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. Tahir donated all the money earned from the book sale to AAPI.

Congratulating 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!”