Thank you for your support of my run and The Samaritans of Rhode Island
April 22, 2016
Name: Bryan Ganley
D.O.B: 7/15/59 or on every race day
Occupation: Heat & Frost Insulator Viking Industries
Years Running: 8 # of Half Marathons: 48 # of Full Marathons: 0 Miles
Raced in 2015 Half Marathons - 13 Running Clubs: Rhode Island Road
Runners Team: Devil Dogs RI
Road Runners Iron-Man Award Recipient - 4th year in a row
Tradmarks: Devil Dog Horns, Tarzan Yell, Birthday every race, mole where I can't show
Famous Quote: "Let my People Run"
My story.. When I was 21 years old, my best friend Paul committed suicide. Paul called me that night and talked of numerous issues that were bothering him and he said he wanted to take his own life. I told him not to talk like that and that everything would be fine. Paul took his life that night and my other friend Chuck and Paul's girlfriend found him.
Determined not to go through risking another friend's loss, I contacted The Samaritans of Rhode Island in 1981, one year after Paul's death. There I learned the skills to work the Crisis Hotline/Listening Line, even helping to train and mentor new volunteers and eventually assisting in other areas of our work in suicide prevention.
My 3rd year as co-captain of the Team SamaritansRI at the annual Pell Bridge Run, my family was struck by tragedy. One week before the race, on October 17, 2015, my niece Dana died by suicide. After years of training and dealing in crisis intervention, I now find myself on the "other side" with the same people who have also gone through this tragic loss of a loved one. With Paul, I had an excuse. I knew nothing about how to deal with depressed or suicidal people.
Now, after 34 years after my first shift on the lines, I wonder how I missed it. That's the guilt that people feel. The survivors always feel the guilt. This is why we say suicide doesn't end the pain, it's just passed to someone else. That person is the survivor - the family member or friend.
But my training has also taught me that I am not responsible for her choice nor is anyone else. My training also taught me that my niece's life (and all those who passed) had value and that value didn't end when she passed. My training also taught me to remember the love. So on April 18, 2016 - Patriots Day, I will be proudly running the Boston Marathon for The Samaritans of Rhode Island. This marathon will be more than running 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston. It will be about healing and about love. I will NOT be alone on this journey. All the people I have reached through The Samaritans will be with me. All the people who meant so much to me will also be with me including my friend Kayleigh Raposa, who passed away tragically and whose 5K memorial race inspired me to become a runner.
And of course, I will run remembering the love of my niece Dana, whose ashes I will carry over the course of the 26.2 mile route - the same route Olympians and champions before us have run.
I have plenty of inspiration to take with me to the finish line where I will spread Dana's ashes and hopefully be able to let go of a small bit of the pain.
This journey is about healing and about hope. There is hope. Depression is treatable. Suicide is preventable. There really is help out there.
To learn more about suicide prevention and the work of The Samaritans of RI, please visit www.samaritansri.org Thank you in advance to all who will help me prepare for this race and support The Samaritans of RI.
Gratefully yours, Bryan
SPECIAL NOTE: Participating in this race was by special invitation. Ken Walsh of East Greenwich RI donated the Boston Marathon invitation to us and personally handed it to me. Ken ran his first marathon last year at Boston for The Samaritans of Rhode Island in memory of loved ones lost to suicide and raised more than $7,000 in donations. The Samaritans of Rhode Island and I owe all of this to Ken for without him and his vision this opportunity to run the Boston race would not exist.
Thank you, Ken!
Lastly, please join me and Team SamaritansRI in October at the 2016 Pell Bridge Run! Follow The Samaritans of RI on FB for future announcements! Connect at www.samaritansri.org