Woburn Runner to Take on Heartbreak Hill in Memory of Her Friend’s Brother

Tricia in action
Tricia in action
Tricia Pierson, from Woburn, will run in the 118th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21, 2014. By running, Tricia will help Samaritans, a local suicide prevention organization, raise awareness and much needed funds for its life-saving services.

Tricia is one of 24 people who are running the distance for suicide prevention for Samaritans. She started running eight years ago and has completed countless 5Ks and 10Ks, six half marathons, and three full marathons including the Boston Marathon in 2012. She ran the Samaritans 5K in September and participated in Samaritans Happier Boston“Hi Five in the 5th” at Fenway Park last April with her sister, Lissa. She will be running this year’s Boston Marathon in memory of a dear friend's brother who was lost to suicide.

Tricia’s sister Lissa, who also lives in Woburn, has designed and created a beautiful Boston Strong-themed autograph quilt with signatures of 182 noteworthy sports stars and celebrities with ties to New England. For every $5 donation made to Tricia’s Boston Marathon fundraising campaign on behalf of Samaritans the donor will receive one ticket in an opportunity drawing for the quilt. For every $20 donation, the donor will receive five tickets. The quilt will be on display at the Woburn Farmers Market this Sunday March 23 between 10:30am – 1:30pm.

The 2014 Boston Marathon John Hancock Non-Profit Program graciously donated 13 official race entries to Samaritans, a suicide prevention organization that has been serving the Greater Boston and MetroWest area for 40 years. They will be joining nine Samaritans’ runners who are returning to complete the race they were unable to finish due to the Boston Marathon bombings last year, as well as the first two qualified runners to make the decision to run on Samaritans’ behalf.

“My personal awareness of the Samaritans began with a tragedy, a friend’s loss of a loved one by suicide,” said Tricia. “Our family watched with both sadness and admiration as someone we cared for faced such a crisis. Through his determination to turn his loss into a positive, we became aware of the Samaritans. My sister’s prior involvement with an organization providing support to this country’s injured military personnel, made us aware of the devastating reality of suicide in the ranks of our servicemen and women.”

Samaritans saw an increase in people applying to them for a number for this year’s Boston Marathon and is fielding its largest team ever. Tricia was chosen to receive a number through the John Hancock Non-Profit Program and has set a fundraising goal of $10,000. John Hancock runners raise an average of $7,600 last year and the expectation is that runners will raise even more for their chosen charity this year. With Tricia’s help, the 2014 Samaritans Marathon Team has already raised over $120,000 and the goal is to exceed $150,000

Tricia added: “Although I knew suicide affects us all and that the outreach services provided by Samaritans, from crisis intervention to support for the bereaved, is of primary importance, what really hit home for me was the emphasis placed on human connection. Samaritans' Happier Boston campaign is not only relevant to suicide prevention; it is a wakeup call to everyone that a happier, healthier environment has rewards for us all.”

Last year, 469 volunteers helped Samaritans answer 142,577 calls and over 900 chats; deliver 268 suicide prevention workshops and community outreaches to 12,937 people; and make over 900 connections with people bereaved by suicide. Every day Samaritans helps people build resiliency skills and this was needed more than ever following the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombings last year when Samaritans saw a 20% increase in its call volumes.

“Samaritans’ purpose is to reduce suicide by alleviating despair, isolation, distress and suicidal feelings among individuals in our community, 24 hours a day; to educate the public about suicide prevention; and to reduce the stigma associated with suicide,” said Roberta Hurtig, Executive Director of Samaritans. “Our amazing team of marathon runners is helping us accomplish our mission through raising awareness and funds for our services that emphasize confidential, nonjudgmental, and compassionate listening. We are so grateful to have received marathon numbers from John Hancock.”

The 2014 Marathon Team is supported by Christian Caldaroni Memorial Foundation, Flavin Architects, Gina Marsh Music, Goldhaber Research Associates, Professional Athletes Foundation and Skidmore & Co.

To make a donation in honor of Tricia and Samaritans Marathon Team, please visit:


Facebook: Boston 26.2 Autograph Quilt

Twitter:    @Boston262Quilt

More about Samaritans

Over the past 40 years, Samaritans volunteers have answered more than 2.5 million phone calls. The agency has trained more than 4,500 volunteers and instructed more than 100,000 individuals through its Community Education and Outreach Program and has supported over 10,000 individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide. www.samaritanshope.org

Samaritans Statewide Toll Free Helpline: 877-870-HOPE (4673)

More about The John Hancock Boston Marathon Non-Profit Program


Carol Youngclaus March 19, 2014 at 08:57 AM
The quilts are stunning! More than craft, they're full-out art as well as a meaningful tribute to our beautiful Boston and a support for a very worthy organization. I saw the 2012 quilt and am in awe of Lissa's talent (yes, Lissa, awe!) as well as Tricia's discipline and dedication. I've seen pictures of this year's quilt, and I can't wait to see the real thing at Spence Farm. Whoever wins this quilt will own a treasure!


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