To my friends, family, and supporters--
I am honored to announce that for the second year in a row, I will represent Team Samaritans at the 2020 Boston Marathon! I am proud to be a part of this organization and everything that it represents.
As many of you know from sharing my story last year, I am running in memory of my father, Joe Montoya, who took his own life on February 8th, 2010. While my dad was struggling with his own mental illnesses on the inside, it was not always as apparent on the outside. He was a three-letter varsity athlete, served 12 years in the U.S. Air Force, and was known to never turn down a round of golf. He brought a light into every room he walked into until that fateful Monday morning.
Following his death, it took about eight years for me to reach a point where I felt that I could use this experience to help others in similar siutations. In March 2018, I began volunteering on the Samaritans suicide hotline where every week I answer incoming calls and texts from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) in addition to the local Boston-based hotline. I immediately was in awe by this organization and what they provide for suicide prevention and awareness in the New England commmunity. In addition to the 24/7 hotline, they offer free workshops at schools across Massachusetts to educate teens how to recognize the early signs of suicidal thoughts. Samaritans also provides a Survivor to Survivor Network (SSN) program where trained volunteers comfort recent suicide loss survivors.
What I respect so much about Samaritans is that they not only talk about destigmatizing mental illness, but they also take action to prevent suicide. Every donation allows Samaritans to continue funding their services and outreach programs to hopefully save just one life like my father’s. I encourage you to take action and share this page with anyone that may resonate with the cause or consider a donation to support Samaritan’s resources.
All my thanks and love,
#Miles4Monty in memory of Joe Montoya
5/31/1962 - 2/8/2010
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