Thank you for visiting my fundraising page! On April 20th, 2015, I will be running the Boston Marathon to raise money and awareness for Samaritans, a non-profit suicide prevention organization that is very close to my heart.
In 1988, my cousin, Danny, took his own life at the age of twenty-four. He was a beloved part of our family and the closest I have ever had to an older brother. In an effort to honor his memory and to prevent other families from suffering such a profound loss, I first got involved with Samaritans when I lived in New York City, serving as a volunteer on their suicide prevention helpline. There, I witnessed firsthand how the profound human connection that happens when we are heard, understood, and valued can change – and even save – people’s lives.
I am thrilled to be running my first marathon on behalf of Samaritans. I am running in memory of Danny and as a gesture of love and support to my family and others who have been affected by suicide. I also run in solidarity with those who have experienced mental illness, one of the biggest risk factors for suicide. It is my hope that shedding light on the subjects of suicide and mental illness, which are so often cast in darkness, can alleviate the stigma and suffering that comes with them.
Writing about her depression, author Kay Redfield Jamison has said that "the beast was best handled by turning it toward the sun." Samaritans operates in that spirit, seeking to reach people in their darkest moments, to turn despair into hope and loneliness into connection. I am so honored to be a part of that effort by running on the Samaritans team. I would be grateful for your support - every dollar will go towards the life-saving work of Samaritans.
For more information, please visit www.samaritanshope.org.