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Run through Towson neighborhoods to benefit mental health foundation

Towson Times - 9/8/2017

Sept. 08--Victor Brick recalls his late older brother, John, as a man of many talents who also was forced to fight a formidable disease -- schizophrenia.

Although John Brick, who died in 2009 at age 62, excelled at sports and academics, his mental illness always lurked behind those accomplishments, Victor Brick said, adding that John suffered from the disease his entire life.

Schizophrenia is a long-term mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves. John Brick believed the disease was a kind of punishment and, as a way to atone, stopped using modern appliances.

He died from heatstroke in a 110-degree trailer because he believed he could not turn on the air conditioner, said Victor Brick, who with his wife, Lynne Brick, owns and operates five Brick Bodies health clubs in the Baltimore area, including one in Timonium.

The couple started the John W. Brick Foundation in John Brick's memory in 2015 to advance learning on how mental health might be positively impacted by exercise, which Victor Brick said he believes could have enhanced his brother's quality of life.

To that end, the foundation will host the second annual John W. Brick 5K and Family Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. Sunday at Towson University'sJohnny Unitas Stadium, with the event's proceeds benefiting the foundation.

"When we got into the health club business we became aware of how many illnesses could benefit from exercise and a healthy lifestyle," Victor Brick said.

Runners and walkers will still start at the stadium and wind their way down Stevenson Lane to Bellona Avenue before heading back over the route to the finish on the 50-yard line of Minnegan Field, in the stadium.

Last year's race drew almost 1,000 people and raised about $200,000, according to the organizers. This year's goal is to attract 1,200 participants and raise more than $250,000, Victor Brick said.

Both a pre-race warm-up and one-mile Family Fun Walk will feature a visit from The Oriole Bird. A post race party will feature food, music and a Kid's Fun Zone with face painting, Popsicles and a bounce house, according to the event's website.

The first 1,200 people to register will receive race shirts, medals and goody bags.

"Unlike some other foundations we may never have a cure for mental illness, like we hope to get a cure for breast cancer or pancreatic cancer... but we believe you can dramatically improve a person's life by having the right type of treatment program," Victor Brick said.

Online registration for the event has closed, but in-person registrations will be accepted on race day for $40. The Family Fun one-mile walk is $25. For more information, go to


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