Running the Distance for Suicide Prevention!
Thank you for your interest in the Samaritans 2018 Boston Marathon Team!
The 2018 Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 16th, and we are excited to be participating as a non-profit partner in the John Hancock Non-Profit Marathon Program for our 11th consecutive year. All proceeds generated from this year’s team will benefit Samaritans’ suicide prevention services including our 24/7 Crisis Services phone and text Helpline, suicide prevention workshops for schools, businesses and community groups, and SafePlace support groups for those who have lost someone to suicide.
Applications for our 2018 Team are now closed. We look forward to introducing you to our new team members soon.
If you have secured your own bib for the Boston Marathon and are interested in joining the Samaritans Team, please contact Sarah Cahill.
If you are interested in running for Samaritans in 2019, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on the notification list – you will be among the first to know when applications are available next fall.
Meet Last Year’s Team
Andrea grew up in Tewksbury, MA and now resides in Andover, MA. Andrea is married and has a 12-year-ol d son Luke and her beloved dog, Bailey, a 16-year-old Jack Russell terrier. She is a Faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and a Physical Therapist. Andrea and her twin, Joann earned their Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2004.
Andrea grew up in a very close knit family of five; she and her family lost Joann in September of 2014. Joann was Andrea’s twin, her best friend and her unsung hero. Joann was kind-hearted, generous and full of goodness. Joann was a beacon of light for her family and all those whom she touched. Joann had qualities of strength and warmth, similar to those of her favorite flower, the sunflower. She cherished time with family and friends. Andrea’s parents, Paula and Charlie have endured through the unspeakable pain of losing a child. They have found strength among family, friends, their church community and Samaritans Safe Place meetings. Andrea’s little sister, Renee is married with three children and a pug. Renee has created Joann’s Team and has championed an effort raising $10,000 for the Samaritan’s 5K Run/Walk event in Joann’s memory. Andrea’s family has memorialized Joann with a beautiful bench outside of their hometown parish, St. Williams. Andrea knows that Joann’s spirit will carry her through the tasks and challenges ahead. She also knows that her family’s deeply rooted love for each other will provide comfort and support. It is now time to begin another journey in Joann’s memory.
Bill is a lifelong athlete, passionate about pushing his own limits, challenging himself physically and mentally, enjoying the confidence that comes with the completion of a challenge. He is also passionate about inspiring others to get out and do the same thing.
This coming February Bill will ascend to the summit of Mount Washington for a third time, and while this ascent to the top of a mountain and the hard work and preparation that is required is exhilarating and confidence building, many people who are fighting depression, anxiety, or fear and are consumed by negative thoughts. These people are struggling to climb, they stand at the bottom of a mountain, or are halfway up but not moving, or in some cases they may be at or near the top, unsure how to get either up or down.
Bill’s passion for climbing represents what he feels is our ability to overcome these fears, our struggle, and ultimately Bill wants to spread that very message to those that are suffering from mental illness as well.
That you can “get out of it” and stand atop a mountain looking down at the very struggles you faced, and all the steps it took to get to the top….possible!
Though his current passion is climbing, Bill is also an experienced marathon runner and fundraiser who completed his first of 5 marathons in 1997 running in Boston in the memory of a childhood friend who passed away from Leukemia in her 20’s, and his most recent in NYC in 2009.
Since running his first marathon, Bill has raised funds for several charities including IRSF (Rett Syndrome), LLS (The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, JDRF, Foundation Fighting Blindness, Autism Speaks, Asperger/Autism Network, & Alzheimer’s Association, through his completion of 5 marathons, and his participation in the annual IRSF Hockey game in Hingham, MA, and Cranberry Cup Hockey tournament in Nantucket, MA, and the 48 Peak Challenge, as part of the Alzheimer’s Associations Longest Day.
Though not directly affected by suicide in his life, Bill’s interest in the Samaritans mission to alleviate emotional distress and reduce the incidence of suicide feelings and suicidal behavior, roots in another man passion, his curiosity in psychology, human behavior and the connection between mental illness and suicide. and he hopes his participation with this amazing group of teammates, and caring human beings will continue to show that love, solidarity, compassion, and empathy for those feeling isolated or struggling in their lives, exists in others, and we are here to help.
Bill also sees this as an opportunity to inspire and support his mother who is going through her own emotional struggle after the sudden loss of his father, her husband of 50 years in March, 2016.
Bill’s passion and commitment to health and wellness, fitness and nutrition, and mindfulness combined with his own experiences, has brought him to this place, and he is extremely proud to have been selected to join an amazing team of caring individuals and is very excited to run the Boston Marathon for Samaritans, and see where this journey takes him!
Craig grew up in Oradell, NJ where he currently resides. In May 2016, he graduated from Boston Col lege. While a student, Craig served as a volunteer on the Samaritans Helpline. As a freshman, he was introduced to the organization through PULSE, a service learning program at BC intent on educating students about social injustice by putting them in direct contact with marginalized populations. He continued serving on the hotline through 4Boston, a BC student-run organization which places students at various placements throughout the city and neighboring areas for four hours each week and couples this service with a weekly reflection for students to discuss their experiences in a group setting. As a senior, Craig served as the councilperson of the Samaritan’s 4Boston group, overseeing a group of 15 volunteers who served on the Samaritans Helpline.
This will be Craig’s first official marathon, and he is honored to be running for Samaritans in 2017. He hopes that his participation is a testament to the strength and longevity of the relationship between Samaritans and Boston College. He is also proud to represent LGBTQ individuals who may find themselves more at risk of contemplating suicide.
I grew up on the South Shore in East Bridgewater with my four sisters and one brother. I ran Cross Country and Track during High School and at the University of Rhode Island. I have been the Head Coach at Marshfield High School for the past 9 years and a Physical Education Teacher for 5 years. I have most recently lived in South Boston and Quincy.
I’m very excited and proud to run in the Memory of my former teammate from High School Shawn White and my former athlete Kevin Friedland. Shawn was a teammate and friend in High School. He qualified for the Boston Marathon last year and had planned on running in 2017. I just had the privilege of running at the Samaritans Suicide Prevention 5k for team Shawn. Kevin was a former Cross Country Captain that I coached at Marshfield High School for 4 years. He was one of the most genuine athletes I had the pleasure of coaching and was well respected by all his peers. I look forward to fundraising for this cause and lacing them up for 26.2 in their memory and anyone else that has struggled with suicide.
I am honored to have been chosen for this team and such a worthy cause. I hope that I can do a small part in helping those who have and will be affected by suicide thru this process. There is nothing that can take your breath away faster than hearing that a loved one is no longer with you and that you did not get the chance to say goodbye. The impact seems even more profound when the loss comes as a result of suicide. As a psychologist I often find myself on the other side of the conversation helping others begin to process the gamut of emotions when they have lost their loved one’s. There was no textbook or training that could have prepared me for the emotional impact two years ago when I received the phone call that we had lost my cousin Chris. I am eternally grateful for the support that the Samaritans were able to give to his parents during this tragic time in their lives. A support and understanding that can’t always be found your everyday circle of friends and family given the unique nature and issues that suicide presents. If my running in the marathon and raising the awareness and funds to help the Samaritans continue their mission then 26.2 miles is a welcomed task.
Chris was someone who I could identify with growing up. He was quiet and unassuming , but with a sarcastic and funny wit when he needed to hold his own. He was someone who was talented with his hands and could build anything. He went on to be a successful electrician and during many recent winter storms I have him to thank for helping restore power back to thousands of families. In many ways it was some of these jobs that made me appreciate him more. To go out in harsh elements, being away from your family for days on end, getting little sleep and dealing with high voltage electricity. To Chris it was like second nature, that despite the difficulty of the elements and long hours he knew that people counted on him to restore order in their lives. This is what I will remember and cherish about Chris the most, not necessarily the immense talents his hands could produce, but the heart that was behind it. The person who would offer a helping hand, with no questions asked and no matter how much of an inconvenience to him. He was a devoted father of two who was so invested and proud of his children, whether it was the long hours of tossing a baseball around with his son or traveling from tournament to tournament he was there with his quiet presence.
When I tell people that I am running the marathon for Samaritans the first question I often get asked are you really prepared for the training and running 26.2 miles. My first response back is that the running part and the training is the easy part. The hardest part is the loss, but I believe that on April 17th, 2017 Chris in his own way will be there in Boston, and his quiet presence will be felt and carry me across the finish line.
January 19, 2016 is a day that I will never forget. I received a call that my friend had not shown to work, then it dawned on me that he didn’t show to a race, and a friends father’s funeral, and I panicked. I wish every day what ensued in the next few hours did not, but it did. My life long friend died by suicide.
I felt like I should’ve stopped it, I should’ve seen it coming and I should’ve gotten there, but sadly, this was not to happen.
I can’t save Dougie, but I can help others.
I met Doug in the 6th grade, we were probably 10/11 years old. We met due to a mutual friend and we all lived in the same area. We grew up in the same neighborhood and it turns out our parents shared some experiences in highscool as well. We were destined to be friends. As time goes by, many experiences between the two of us created a life long bond that even through anger, could never be broken.
Doug was funny, friend and an ass. He worked the same job for 19 years and if the clothing would last long enough he would never shop for a new pair of pants. He loved having a great time! He loved riding his motorcyle way to fast and drinking a few too many and laughing so loud I can still hear it.
In 2012 we got a dog. Doug said if he were ever to get a dog his name would be Porkchop, after Doug Funny. So, we did. I still have Porkchop and I know Dougie visits him often.
Dougie didn’t love babies, but he loved his nieces and nephews, especially when they would climb him like a jungle jim. He loved his little Lily, she was his best girl. His family is the best and I can not wait to share this journey with them!
Dougie had great friends, the best anyone could ask for. When he died, the Fast and Furious song popped in my head the next day, they were true friends until the end, and so are all of us.
Dougie started running in 2014 and quickly became a competitor! He loved it! He had run 2 marathons and a few half marathons as well as multiple 5ks.
I wanted to run for the Samaritans because I need to help spread the word and stop the stigma. We all get sad, but at times our sadness and anxiety take over, and we need to be loud and clear that there is always HOPE!
Thanks to the John Hanock Non-Profit Marathon Program, this is the 10th consecutive year that Samaritans has received bib numbers for our Marathon Team. All proceeds generated from this year’s team will benefit Samaritans’ suicide prevention services including our 24/7 Crisis Services phone and text helplines, Community Education and Outreach, and Grief Support Services for those who have lost someone to suicide.
Julia was born and raised in Melrose, MA and is a proud graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, ME. She got the running bug from her father, Peter, and had the privilege of seeing him run the Boston Marathon for Samaritans in 2013 and 2014.
Her family is dedicated to Samaritans and the work that they do, demonstrated in their annual participation in the 5K Run/Walk. She is honored to run the marathon this year in memory of her Aunt Kathy.
Julia never knew Kathy, but knows her aunts, uncles and cousins feel her loss every day. However, her family also knows how important it is to continue to show love and compassion to those struggling in their lives, and to ensure that their loved ones know they are never truly alone.
Julia therefore hopes to help Samaritans break the stigma associated with suicide and help them continue to offer lifesaving services to those in need. She also sees this as an opportunity to continue to spread messages of love and solidarity through her fundraising and training.
Kate grew up in Simsbury, CT outside of Hartford and has lived in the Boston area for 13 years and now lives in Charlestown. She is the Associate Director of Admissions at Brookwood School, at PreK-8 independent day school North of Boston. Kate started running road races 11 years ago and has run four marathons including two Boston Marathons. She is running the Boston Marathon in memory of her dad, who took his own life at the age of 44 in 1992. She is proud to run Boston.
Kim has run twenty one marathons and will be running her 9th consecutive Boston Marathon on behalf of Samaritans. She is passionate about increasing suicide prevention awareness and runs in memory of her sister, Jodi Ann Sims, who died by suicide in 2006. Kim and her family have formed Jodi Ann’s Team at Samaritans 5K Run/Walk for Suicide Prevention for ten straight years. Kim also serves on Samaritans’ Board of Directors. She is a CPA and Partner at LMHS, P.C. and lives in Norwell, MA with her four children, Taylor, Avery, Jaidan and Luke
Kristen is so excited to be running the Boston Marathon with Samaritans! She has been in awe of the Boston Marathon runners since her first Patriot’s Day in 2009 and is honored to be able to run the 2017 Boston Marathon in memory of her friend, Wendy. Kristen describes Wendy as gregarious, kind, and impossibly talented. Her excitement for everything from a perfectly curated meal to her carefully chosen strings of emojis made every interaction feel festive and unique. Kristen can’t think of a better way to honor Wendy’s memory than to raise money for such an amazing cause.
Kristen is originally from Las Vegas, NV where she was lucky to grow up with a supportive, close-knit, and lively extended family. She moved to Massachusetts to attend college and after a brief stint as a paralegal decided to head back to school. She is now a third year law student at Harvard Law School. This will be her ninth and final year in the Boston area before moving to New York where she’ll finally have to give up her life as a perpetual student. She is excited to run the Boston Marathon and thanks you for your support!
Matt grew up and currently resides in Melrose, MA and is a recent graduate of the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy with a master’s degree in nutrition. Following two years of high school cross-country, he didn’t run competitively for about nine years until his family began participating in the Samaritans 5K Walk/Run in memory of his aunt Kathy. Since 2009, Matt has run in five Samaritans races as well as the Philadelphia and Chicago marathons. He qualified for the 2017 Boston Marathon and decided to volunteer to join the Samaritans team as part of his family’s deep involvement with the organization and since the 5K spurred his return to running. Matt currently works at Oldways in Boston and hosts a weekly radio show showcasing local metal and punk music.
Michael grew up in Jamaica Plain, MA and currently resides in Cambridge, MA with wife Sara and daughters Madelyn and Sydelle. In 1996 Michael started his own music marketing company and met Cambridge native, Christian Calderoni. Over the next few years Christian and Michael became good friends, making annual trips to Puerto Rico and touring with a local Hip-Hop group. In 2003, Michael moved to New York to grow his business and was heartbroken to learn of Christian’s death in 2005. Since 2005, Michael has participated in the Samaritans’ 5K Run/Walk for Suicide Prevention as a member of Christian’s Team. After moving back to Boston in 2011, Michael started running to help him cope with his own depression. Michael has used running to raise awareness for suicide prevention and other worthy charities. Michael successfully ran his first marathon in Boston in 2014 and since has completed two additional marathons and two Ultra Marathons (50k). Currently he works at Live Nation New England and attends UMASS Boston in the Urban Planning and Community Development program. Michael is thrilled to be able to run the 2017 Boston Marathon with the Samaritans and in honor of his dear friend Christian. Michael cannot think of a more worthy organization to partner with in this exciting and challenging adventure. Let the training and fundraising begin!
Michael grew up in East Bridgewater, MA with his parents, Robert and Janice and twin brothers, Matthew & Shawn. Michael now resides in Reading, MA with his wife, Joanne and his 2 year old son, Rowan. He is a currently assigned as a detective with the Salem, NH Police Department where he has been a sworn police officer since 2004. Prior to that Michael was a police officer with the NYPD and was part of the first academy class after 9/11.
Michael lost his brother, Shawn to suicide November of last year. Shawn’s passing was unexpected and devastating to his family and friends. Although Shawn had dealt with anxiety and depression in his life, he had never allowed it to stop him from achieving the goals he set forth on. Shawn graduated from UMass – Boston and then went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from the Suffolk University School of Law. Shawn was also an incredibly talented distance runner. A month before Shawn had passed away, he ran the Grand Rapids Marathon which he achieved a personal record as well as a qualifying time for the 2017 Boston Marathon. Michael recalls how his brother was always willing to share his talent by giving aspiring runners, such as himself, training tips and encouragement. Michael found out about the Samaritans SafePlace meetings when he was in need of grief support as he was trying to cope with the wide range of emotions surrounding his brother’s loss. Michael saw how much the Samaritans services means to so many people affected by suicide. This inspired him to form his family’s first team for the Samaritans 5k Run/Walk for Suicide Prevention this past October. Team Shawn White raised just over $2,000 for the Samaritans in his brothers memory.
As this past year was unfolding, Michael decided to take up running as a way to honor Shawn and in return, running has brought Michael renewed personal health as well as some healing. Michael has come to think of it as a final gift from Shawn. Michael ran his first half marathon this past October with his brother, Matt. Michael believes that Shawn would be happy and proud that he has stepped up to fill in as a slightly slower running partner for his twin, Matt. Although this will be Michael’s first marathon, he is looking forward to leaving all that he has out there on the course come April 17th for his brother Shawn, for the Samaritans and for anyone who has lost someone to suicide.
Nora grew up just outside of Boston in Concord, MA and now lives in Cambridge with her husband, Chris. Nora is devoted to her Newfoundland, Heidi, and to her two cats, Buster and Pork Chop. She is an attorney which a specialty in health care.
Nora lost her father to suicide in July, 2013. The Samaritans showed her that there is life after suicide. Safe Place meetings reminded her that she wasn’t alone in her struggles and that there were people all around her who knew what she was going through. At Safe Place meetings, Nora was able to interact with other survivors who had lost a parent, sibling, child, or spouse but who were still standing on their own two feet. Nora is currently training to become a facilitator for Samaritan’s Safe Place meetings and a participant in the Samaritan’s Survivor to Survivor Network.
Running also plays a huge role in Nora’s personal story. She was training for her first marathon when she lost her father. Training was extremely difficult for her in the early days after her father’s death. But with lots of support from her friends and family (and, especially, her husband) Nora crossed the finish line of the Philadelphia Marathon just four months after losing her dad. Not only was it one of the proudest moments of her life, but it was concrete evidence that amazing things could still happen even after suicide — that she could still achieve her goals, that she could still make happy memories, and that she could still grow and thrive. She has made distance running a part of her life since then.
Nora’s journey is far from over and there isn’t a day (or a run) that she doesn’t think about her dad. But she can confidently say that she is a better, stronger, more caring and joyous person today than she was before she lost him. Nora cannot think of a better way to honor her father’s memory, to share her story, and to say thank you to the Samaritans and her fellow survivors than by running the Boston Marathon on behalf of this incredible organization.
Reed is a sophomore at Boston College originally from Mountain View, California. He, his parents, and his younger brother have lived in Silicon Valley for most of their lives, as well as in Paris, France when he was in grade school. Reed has been a volunteer at Samaritans since February 2016 and is a member of BC’s 4Boston Samaritans group. Since beginning in the phone room, the experience of interacting directly with callers has altered his outlook on the world and profoundly impacted him. He has become increasingly passionate about suicide prevention, and is running to bring awareness of Samaritans’ work and the power of listening to a broader portion of his community. Several of Reed’s closest friends have struggled with suicidal thoughts or have seen the impact of suicide in their life. Although he has never had to bear that burden himself, he hopes to make more people aware of the mental health difficulties faced by their friends and loved ones and how they can best support them. At school, Reed is also involved in student government and undergraduate research, and enjoys running, writing, and hiking in his spare time.
I have been honored to support the work of Samaritans for the past two years. Losing a childhood choir director, a former colleague, and a friend from church was too much for me to stay on the sidelines of suicide prevention and awareness. Core to my own life spiritual journey is a celebration of abundant life. Let’s elevate a culture of joy and compassion and health and resilience and friendship and… LIFE in our city.
I am incredibly honored to be running the 2017 Boston Marathon to raise money and awareness for Samaritans, a non-profit dedicated to suicide prevention. Samaritans provides community education and outreach, a 24/7 help line, and grief support services.
I will be running the 2017 Boston Marathon in memory of Preston Grover. Preston was only 23 when we lost him. He was kind, fun to be around, a talented graphic designer, artist and truly passionate about music. The 26.2 miles that I will be running on April 17th will be dedicated to Preston’s Mom (Terri) and sister (Kelsey) who have worked tirelessly to bring suicide awareness and prevention to the community. Suicide has touched the lives of many people that I know and love, which is why I will work hard to raise the funds needed for Samaritans to provide these much needed services.
Tim grew up in Worcester, MA and currently lives in Somerville, MA. He works as a Biomedical Engineer for the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife. He is also completing his final year of a Master’s degree in Bioengineering at Northeastern University. Tim grew up with his only brother James “JJ” Granger, both brothers were close. The two bonded over their love of sports, especially football. Tragically in late 2014, JJ took his own life due to struggles with depression. His death was devastating to his family and friends especially his loving parents Kathy and Jim. To memorialize their youngest son they started a small football scholarship program at his former high school.
Tim began running when he moved to the Boston area as a way to get back into shape. Eventually running turned into more than an exercise activity and became his means to cope with the loss of his brother. Over time through the support of his friends and family Tim has healed and he is ready to honor his brother by running his first marathon. He is proud to run with the Samaritans in order to help raise awareness about mental illness and promote their fantastic efforts in suicide awareness and prevention.
Veronica is a 33 year-old Nantucket Island native. She grew up with three siblings- two sisters and a brother, but tragically lost her brother from suicide. She has been bartending for the last fifteen years and graduated from Fitchburg State in 2005. In 2010, she married her husband, George, and they have two children- 5 year old Trey, 3 year old Carli June and a dog named Apple. Veronica starting running again in August 2014 after that she needed a hobby that she was passionate about. Since 2014, she’s run hundreds of miles and this year she’s looking forward to running her third Boston Marathon in memory of her brother, Vaughn. She feels privileged and determined to run for such an amazing organization.