If you’ve stumbled upon this fundraising page of mine, chances are pretty good that you know my family’s story. I’m grateful to have the most supportive group of friends, family members and anonymous donors who so generously have supported me in my fundraising efforts year after year. For those of you who haven’t heard my story, I am a survivor of suicide. My sister, Jodi Ann Sims took her own life on July 10, 2006.
For the 7th year in a row, I feel humbled to have been chosen to run the Boston Marathon on Team Samaritans. I often ask myself, “Why do I feel so passionate about doing this every year?” Running 26.2 miles is a LOT of work! It started as something to help me cope with the sadness of my sister’s tragic death and a way for me to keep her memory alive. Surely I still miss her smile and when I think about her, it’s always with a heavy heart. But I do believe I’ve made peace with my sister’s death. I’ve seen signs that she has reached a better place. I understand her life here on earth was troubled. I’m grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned from her. And it’s true, I do love to run. But this year, she’s not the only reason I run. The countless stories I’ve heard lately about loved ones battling mental illness, suffering from depression and considering suicide break my heart; stories of mothers, husbands, teenage daughters, nieces, sisters, professional athletes, Hollywood actors. The list is endless. I run in hope that one person would be inspired by our special team and that our efforts might change just one life.
I’ve committed to raising $10,000 for this charity that inspires me. The Samaritans rely on the kindness of people who give of themselves and their resources to help others. Your donation will contribute to their efforts to reduce the risk of suicide and increase public awareness of prevention strategies. It will also help many despairing individuals find emotional and often lifesaving support from their volunteer based 24 hour Befriending Services.
If you’d like to help with my fundraising efforts, please feel free to do so online or send a check made payable to “Samaritans, Inc.” to:
Kimberly Jo Gagnon
80 Washington Street
Norwell, MA 02061
Each year, as I lace up my sneakers and wait for the gun to go off at the start line, I think of my sister, feel grateful for the 32 years I had with her and I say a little prayer for all those still suffering from depression and struggling to find their reason to keep moving forward. I hope to run the Boston Marathon on Team Samaritans every Patriot’s Day until God tells me our work is done. And even then, maybe I’ll lace up my sneakers one more time. Just for fun, of course :)
Please support the work of the Samaritans if you can.
Mother, Marathoner, Yogi, Beloved Sister
"One hundred years from now it won't matter what kind of car you drove, what kind of house you lived in, how much money you had in your bank account or what kind of clothes you wore. But the world may be a better place because you made a difference in the life of another