Running for Hope: Sarah Boudreau’s Journey to Support Suicide Prevention

Jun 26, 2024 | Blog

In a world where conversations about mental health are gaining momentum, people like Sarah Boudreau are making a profound impact by turning personal pain into a beacon of hope. This year, Sarah is running the Falmouth Road Race on behalf of Team Samaritans to support our mission of suicide prevention. Her journey is not just about the race; it’s about honoring a loved one and raising awareness for a cause that touches many lives.

Inspiration Behind the Cause

Sarah’s motivation to run for suicide prevention stems from a deeply personal connection. She is running in memory of James (Jay) A. Hayes IV, who tragically passed away at the age of 22. Jay was a cherished son, brother, and friend, admired for his dedication to family, academics, and community service.

“Jay was on the brink of completing his senior year in an accelerated Master’s degree program in Biomedical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,” Sarah recalls. “He served as the VP of communications for his fraternity, Pi Lambda Phi, and volunteered as a basketball coach for the Special Olympics. Jay’s zest for life and dedication to serving others were evident in every aspect of his being.”

“His absence has left a palpable void, a void that cannot be filled,” Sarah shares. Running in his memory, she hopes to shed light on the resources provided by Samaritans, which offer a sanctuary of compassion and a pathway to hope for those grappling with suicidal thoughts.

Training and Preparation

Training for the Falmouth Road Race has been a challenging yet rewarding experience for Sarah. As a new mother, she is navigating the demands of postpartum life while preparing for the race. “I’m relearning how to train and care for my ten-month postpartum body,” she explains. Sarah attends Pilates classes three to four times a week and runs three times a week, following a structured couch-to-10K plan and tracking her progress on Strava.

Every step of her training is imbued with the memory of Jay and the support of his family. “Jay and his family – Johanna, Jim, and Caroline – are in my heart and mind every step of the way,” she says. “I hope that this race and our fundraising endeavors shed light on the invaluable resources Samaritans offer to people in crisis and the support they provide to their families.”

Fundraising Journey

Sarah’s fundraising journey has been marked by heartwarming moments of support. The community has rallied around her efforts, highlighting the widespread impact of suicide prevention. “People have reached out to share their own personal experiences, revealing the critical importance of destigmatizing mental health and connecting people to resources,” Sarah notes. 

These conversations have underscored the need for awareness and support in the fight against suicide. The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive, emphasizing the collective desire to make a difference.

Message to Readers

Sarah’s message to those reading her story is one of compassion and solidarity. “Feeling suicidal is not a sign of weakness or shame. It’s a painful reality for many, often accompanied by overwhelming despair and a sense of isolation. But through outreach and support, we can replace despair with hope,” she says. “Together, we can uplift those in need and show them that they are not alone on their journey toward healing and resilience.”

In a poignant closing, Sarah offers words of encouragement to anyone struggling: “You are loved, your presence is a gift, and you are an essential part of this world. If you are in pain, in crisis, or feeling alone, please reach out and talk.”

Sarah’s journey in the Falmouth Road Race is a testament to the power of love, remembrance, and community. By running in memory of Jay and supporting Samaritans, she is making strides toward a future where hope prevails over despair.

If you’d like to support Sarah in her fundraising efforts, please visit her fundraising page. Every contribution brings us one step closer to preventing suicide and saving lives. 

Check out the full #TeamSamaritans at


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This