Team Captain finds purpose each year at Samaritans 5K

The backs of three people who are wearing white t-shirts that say Do Great ThingsTeam Captain Paige Keady of Run to Rymember shares what the Samaritans 5K means for her and her family.

We discovered Samaritans a few short months after my younger brother Ryan took his life. Ryan was an incredibly active and inclusive kid, and we felt the Samaritans Annual 5K Run/Walk for Suicide Prevention would be an amazing way to not only honor him but have one day a year where we can all be together to celebrate his life. Organizing this 5K team annually has helped to give me a purpose. It brings our family and dear friends together to laugh, run, walk and share memories of our dear boy. This run every year also serves as a reminder of how valuable our support system is, the people that have stood by our side every day since this horrific evening, helping us take baby steps towards strength and hope as we move forward.

The first year we participated in the 5K was extremely emotional. Ryan died in May and we gathered that following September with our first Run to Rymember team. I was struck by the immediate sense of community on that field. Every person around me at that event in some way was touched by the same traumatic thing our family had felt. The most impactful moment for me that day was at the ribbon wall, as I watched my family hang their ribbons: brother, son, nephew; and then our closest friends getting the opportunity to hang the friend ribbon.

Our community has come together to donate, participate, and attend fundraising efforts year after year. Every year when I send out the preliminary email to register I have no doubt that within the first few days we already will have a team of 5-10 people, it makes me feel so grateful. This year I hope we all feel a sense of pride as we strive every day to “do great things” in Ryan’s honor and this event is no different.

Register today for the 20th Annual Samaritans 5K Run/Walk for Suicide Prevention or read more about Team Run to Rymember!