Inspirational run - - The News for South Mississippi

Inspirational run

Bill Gasparrini after a run in 2005 Bill Gasparrini after a run in 2005

They're a group of people called, "The Dunkin' Donut runners."  The runners meet at 6 a.m. every Sunday at Dunkin' Donuts and they go for a long distance trek around Biloxi.

As each foot hits the ground, they recognize this time is different.

"Happy Birthday Bill, thumbs up Bill," said the group.

Bill Gasparrini was a founder of the group and would have turned 61 years old this week. But, he died in April after a battle with stomach cancer. Now, he's their inspiration.

"Bill Gasparrini really celebrated life. When you think of carpe diem, that would be Bill Gasparrini. He seized the day," said long time runner Ryker Miles.

"He was just an encouragement. He had the most incredible, positive attitude," said runner Nancy Phillips.

Phillips said when Gasparrini was diagnosed with cancer, he didn't slow down.

"Sometimes he would even carry his medication, his pack, with him and he would come out and run."

The morning was full of stories about their friend.

"Then, the next time we came around, there's Bill. He goes, Ryker, you're definitely catching up to me, just a little bit further. So, just always the super encourager," said Miles.

Gasparrini's spirit was contagious.

"We're doing it, we're definitely living everyday to the fullest, just like you set with your life as an example," said Miles.

"I miss you, Bill," said Phillips.

On this day, the group celebrated Gasparrini's birthday. Even more than that, they celebrated his life.

His presence was felt one step at a time.

There will be run for Bill Gasparrini on November 9th called, "Thumbs up for Bill 5k."

All proceeds will go to help cancer patients. For more information click HERE.

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