With less than a month until Race Day, Samaritans 2018 Boston Marathon Team continues to ramp up both fundraising and training, with more than $78,000 raised toward our team goal of $145,000! The 14 dedicated individuals on this team are loss survivors, volunteers, and people that have benefited from our Helpline. They are taking on 26.2 miles to raise funds and support Samaritans’ programs and services. Each month, we’ll be highlighting a few members of our team to share their stories. Meet Theresa, Kim, and Reed!
Having lost both her mother and sister to suicide, Theresa Regan draws on the memories of her loved ones during her training. She recalls, “The Boston Marathon holds a special place in my family and has been a part of my life since I was a child. I remember fondly as my Mom would bring me and my sisters Andrea, Karen, and Debbie to Washington Square in Brookline so that we could cheer the runners on Marathon Monday each April.”
Because of this connection, Theresa and her family have been active in the Marathon for many years. Theresa, her son Christopher, daughter Alexis, and niece Jennifer have all completed the marathon, paying tribute to their family members and championing a number of charitable causes throughout the years. This year, her niece Lauren will also join the family affair.
With so many loved ones involved, there will be no shortage of support along the race route. “Friends and family will pepper the course from Natick, Wellesley, Coolidge Corner, and Kenmore Square to Hynes. Some family will view early on in Wellesley and quickly go to Brookline or the finish line,” Theresa says. Join Samaritans at Mile 17 to cheer on Theresa and all of our Marathon runners!
Check out Theresa’s fundraising page.
Boston College student Reed Piercey combines several of his passions by running the Boston Marathon for Samaritans. As a cross country and track athlete in high school, Reed developed a love of running and set his sights on eventually completing a marathon. After becoming a Samaritans volunteer in February 2016, Reed began to see how his interests could align by participating on the Samaritans team. As a Crisis Center volunteer, Reed draws on his experiences as motivation to persist through training.
“Since beginning as a volunteer, Samaritans has truly changed my outlook on the world––it has challenged me to show empathy in a radical, difficult way I’d never encountered before, and has made me passionate about suicide prevention. Although I haven’t personally struggled with suicidal thoughts, close friends throughout my life have confided in me about their own battles with depression and suicidality. I’ve become all too aware that people in every facet of our lives feel unable to open up to their loved ones about these issues.”
After raising $8,000 for the Samaritans team in 2017, Reed will return to the race route this year. After suffering a setback during last year’s marathon, Reed is focusing his energy on crossing the finish line in 2018. “This year is a little different––this time, it’s personal. I have some unfinished business with the Marathon. I intend to one-up my 2017 self in fundraising, training, race pace, and performance!”
Check out Reed’s fundraising page.
Samaritans Board member Kim Gagnon is no stranger to running marathons. This year, Kim will be running her 10th consecutive marathon for the Samaritans team, and 24th marathon total. “Each year, as I lace up my sneakers, I think of my sister and feel grateful for the 32 years I had with her. I say a little prayer for all those still suffering from depression and struggling to find their reason to keep moving forward.”
Kim draws on that phrase – just keep moving forward – while she’s running. “For many, moving forward is difficult. And often times, impossible. It was impossible for my sister, Jodi.”
Committed to Samaritans’ mission, Kim and her family have formed Jodi Ann’s Team at our 5K Run/Walk for Suicide Prevention for ten years. Kim carries Jodi’s memory with her as she completes each race. “Samaritans relies on the kindness of people who give themselves and their resources to help others. I hope to run the Boston Marathon on Team Samaritans every Patriot’s Day!”
Check out Kim’s fundraising page.
Learn about all of our Marathon runners and how you can support their journey at https://samaritanshope.org/events/marathon/.