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"Race for Hope" Team Runs Chicago Marathon to Erase Stigma around Suicide Loss and Save Lives
By: PR Newswire Association LLC. - 05 Oct 2022Back to overview list

Runners Share Stories and Raise Awareness in Life-changing Event

CHICAGO, Oct. 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- This year's Chicago Marathon will have 191 runners in the "Race for Hope" team who run to honor those they have lost to suicide and to bring awareness and hope for those impacted or struggling with suicide. Funds raised by runner sponsorship benefit the Illinois chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

The Race for Hope runners combine their passion for athletic pursuits with a cause: they are part of a team to raise awareness of suicide loss and prevention, remember loved ones, or reflect on personal struggles. Running past the 1.7 million spectators, each Race for Hope team member wears a custom race jersey that features the team logo on the front – and their personal reason for running on the back. Many of the team members have lost someone to suicide and display their loved ones' photos; others struggle with their own mental health or support someone who does and have inspirational images or words.

"Our runners spend a year before the marathon sharing their story with friends, family and coworkers as they fundraise for AFSP, thus doing their part to remove the stigma from suicide," said Steve Moore, Race for Hope team captain and board member of AFSP-Illinois. "They make an impact through awareness as well as the funds that support research, education and advocacy."

The AFSP race team was created in 2010. That year its nine Chicago Marathon runners raised $6,200 for the Illinois chapter of AFSP and its efforts to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. By 2021 it had grown to 153 runners that raised $305,512. This year, the team has a 2022 goal to raise $450,000 and are nearing $400,000 with a few days before the race.

"Every year, I hear from team members that the experience has incredible personal impact," explains Moore. "Many of our team members find that speaking about their reason for running a marathon as they fundraise, or running in memory of someone they lost to suicide, is a life-changing experience."

Nationally, nine in ten individuals who die by suicide were living with a diagnosable mental health condition at the time of their death, with these conditions often being undiagnosed or untreated.

AFSP and its Illinois chapter are dedicated to improved research, education and advocacy. Through its statewide network of volunteers, AFSP Illinois offers prevention education programs that emphasize the importance of research-proven self-care techniques as well as the value of engaging professional support.

If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, please call or text 988 for the Suicide Crisis Lifeline. Or text TALK to 741741 or go to

About the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to individuals affected by suicide. The organization creates a culture that is smart regarding mental health through educational programs, advocation for suicide prevention, and providing support for those affected by suicide. All donations go towards these efforts with the goal to greatly reduce the national suicide rate. For more:

To donate or to see team totals or individual fundraising, visit

Suicide Prevention Resources:

Suicide Warning Signs:

Media: Reporting on Suicide Prevention:

Cision View original content to download multimedia:

SOURCE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

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