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Memorial march for Jeremy Lum
Mimi Young raises a fist to acknowledge a honk of support from a motorist Thursday evening in front of Woodfield Park on Lathrop Road. She carries a placard that reads, “Positive Change for the Mentally Ill,” which is the goal of the Justice for Jeremy Foundation named after the 29-year-old UC Berkeley graduate who was bipolar. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO
LATHROP — If you happen around noon today to see a group of people walking from the Sheriff’s Office in French Camp headed to the Police Station at Seventh Street in Lathrop, look at their feet.

Chances are you’ll see some of them wearing only a  pair of socks, and maybe someone who is barefoot.

“I’m going to try to walk like Jeremy -- barefoot. It’s going to be very hard but I’m going to try,” said a tearful Dorothea Timmons Lum during the Thursday memorial gathering Thursday of family and friends in front of Woodfield Park to mark the 60th-day anniversary of her 29-year-old son’s tragic death.

The Sierra High and UC Berkeley graduate who was bipolar was barefoot and without any means of transportation, when he was released at 7 a.m. July 9 from the San Joaquin County Jail where he was kept overnight for suspicion of under the influence of alcohol. Family members said he was simply disoriented due to his bipolar condition.

After his release from jail, he disappeared. Three days later, after a massive air and ground search, his body was found floating in the San Joaquin River not far from the Sheriff’s Office. Ironically, the boaters who first spotted his body were close friends of Jeremy’s aunt, Connie Lum Perez. The friends did not know at that time that the body was that of Jeremy, Perez said.

At the memorial march today, Mae Lum will also try to walk part of the way with just her pair of socks to “experience” the difficulty that her grandson went through before his death. At the gathering Thursday evening on Lathrop Road, Mae Lum walked up and down the side of the road wearing only her socks while carrying a placard in memory of Jeremy. In addition to marking the two-month anniversary of Jeremy’s death, the event was also aimed at raising public awareness to various issues surrounding mental illness. Today’s memorial march, which will start at the Sheriff’s Office at 11 a.m., will be the same: “to promote positive change of awareness, policies and  procedures for the mentally ill,” according to the announcement in the “Justice for Jeremy” on Facebook which is sponsoring the event.

The purpose of the walk is also to “(complete) the walk he could not finish,” said Jerry Lum, Jeremy’s father who was one of those who led the air search for his son.

Today’s walk also comes on the heels of Friday night’s marathon poker tournament at The Emory in Manteca organized by Jeremy’s longtime friend Nick Glogovac of Manteca. Proceeds from this fund-raiser will go to the Justice for Jeremy Foundation.

For those who want to join today’s memorial march, here’s the itinerary of the walk: Sheriff’s Office at W. Thomas Cunningham Loop, Michael Canlis Boulevard, South Michael Canlis Blvd., West Mathews Road, South Manthey Road, West Roth Road, South Harlan Road, Lathrop Road, Fifth Street, East K Street, Seventh Street to the Police Station at 15597 Seventh Street. The walk will conclude with a fellowship barbecue at Valverde Park on Fifth Street.