Arlington woman running Boston Marathon for suicide prevention

Helene Newberg is running in the name of a suicide victim. PHOTO CREDIT: SAMARITANS INC.
Helene Newberg is running in the name of a suicide victim. PHOTO CREDIT: SAMARITANS INC.

Like many others, Helene Newberg is running the Boston Marathon for a cause.

“I really wish I wasn’t running because somebody committed suicide,” said Newberg, an Arlington resident.

She’s spent the last year raising $7,000 for Samaritans Inc., a local organization dedicated to helping prevent suicide and supporting for those affected by it. She is one of 17 runners to participate in the fundraiser, which so far has raised more than $60,000.

Newberg was in Ohio during last year’s Marathon Monday when she decided to check her Facebook feed for updates on the race.

“I started seeing news about a suicide in a pond one mile from my home. When I found out what happened I couldn’t believe it, it was very sad. She was 16 years old and had everything going for her,” Newberg said of the victim, Shaira Ali, a friend’s daughter who killed herself that very day.

Though no stranger to marathon, it will be her first time taking on the Boston Marathon.

“I was more excited before I got hurt. My IT band is blown, but I’m guardedly optimistic I will cross the line, ” she said with subdued excitement.

“I’m not saying, ‘Yippee, I’m running The Boston Marathon,’ because I really wish I was running for any reason but this one.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


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