Jason Boschan, Andover Class of 1997, completed the Mount Everest Marathon in May 2022. In a recent interview, Boschan shared that the educational opportunities provided by Bloomfield Hills Schools were instrumental in the choices that led to a climb to the 17,600-foot elevation on Everest. With the tools provided by the Andover High School Forensics team, and impacted by the devastating disease, Primary Progressive Aphasia, that struck Jason’s grandfather Dr. Louis Heyman, Boschan created the charity Run4Papa to raise funds for a cure for PPA. With marathons in literally every continent - including Antarctica - under Boschan’s belt, the goal is to raise awareness and funds for PPA until a cure is found.
“My senior year, Forensics really changed my life in terms of my personality and putting myself out there. I always had a fear of public speaking. The entire dynamic shifted my experience at Andover. It was one of many important catalysts in my life that got me to where I am today. Ms. Clees, to me, was a godsend. One of the best humans, teachers, and motivators. She let people flourish. She was so inspiring in many different ways. It was just a normal class at Andover, but it led to so many different avenues.” said Boschan. Forensics bolstered the confidence Boschan needed to never negotiate from a place of fear, a confidence that was necessary to create the charity PPA, and to take on the challenge of running marathons in places as challenging and faraway as the Great Wall of China.
To date, Run4Papa has raised $330,000. That money was used to do initial research, allowing the Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, which is funding the research and clinical trials, to raise an additional $10M in grants. Boschan’s goal is to run a half-marathon in every state. Races #28 and #29, back-to-back half marathons, are planned for October 2022 in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Boschan’s words of wisdom to BHS students: “No matter what, never negotiate from a place of fear. Whether it’s within themselves, or with people in their classrooms, or when applying to colleges and they think they have to say all the right things, I think if you’re just truly genuine and don’t come at it by negotiating from a place of fear, that honestly will lead you into really incredible places.” Incredible indeed.