Steve and his wife, Jan, with their children, children-in-law, and grandchildren.

Steve and his wife, Jan, with their children, children-in-law, and grandchildren.

Dear Samaritans community members,

My life’s journey has taken an unexpected turn as my family was stunned to learn last month that my wife, Janice, had a “massive growth in her brain,” which turned out to be a cancerous tumor.

We are blessed to be surrounded by loving and caring people, and to be in one of the best places in the country to get treatment for brain cancer. We will always consider the brain surgeon who removed the tumor to be a hero, and we have witnessed a miraculous recovery by Jan from her brain surgery. The bright, shiny light in her eyes is back, she has regained her mobility, and she is talking nonstop! Her infectious laughter is surrounding us once again!

With all that said, it is clear that Jan has a long road ahead with radiation and chemo treatments that will be administered over the next year and beyond, and our time to share our love with our families appears to be shorter than what we expected just one month ago.

With this in mind, I am announcing my retirement, as I need to step back from my role as Executive Director and President of Samaritans. For the next six months, I will reduce my hours to a part-time schedule, effective July 1. I will do all I can to help make the transition for the next Executive Director as smooth as possible, with a target date of the end of 2019.

I have never viewed my role at Samaritans as a job, as the mission of the organization and the passion to save lives is what has driven me through my ten years as a volunteer, and the last four and a half years as Executive Director. It has truly been an honor to serve the organization, and a privilege to meet so many compassionate and loving people in the Samaritans community.

The pain of the loss to suicide of my sister, Kathy; brother-in-law, Bucky; and others I loved in my life brought me to Samaritans. The incredible people that pour their hearts and souls into the mission of supporting those in need has kept me involved with the organization.

In the last four and a half years, we have more than doubled the number of people we serve in the community. We can all feel good about the progress we are making. The need for Samaritans’ services across Massachusetts continues to grow, and I ask all of you to continue to support the organization to the fullest! Together, we will be able to save more lives, and I will continue to hope that we will soon see suicide rates in our communities decline as more people learn to reach out for help.

With all my heart, I thank you for being there when I most needed you. I will never forget the gift of hope that I found at my first Samaritans event, and I wish with every part of my being that the hope we feel at Samaritans continues to spread far and wide! I look forward to seeing many of you at future Samaritans’ events.

With gratitude and appreciation, the mission continues…
Steve Mongeau