Penn Medicine nurse to run in Boston Marathon in scrubs

Samantha Roecker is raising money for programs that support mental health and wellness.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Penn Medicine nurse is about to run the Boston Marathon in her scrubs.

Samantha Roecker, an avid and accomplished runner, is racing for her fellow healthcare workers and raising money to support their mental health and wellbeing.

Roecker says the past two years have been even more challenging, and resources to help our frontline workers have been hard to come by.

"I have a lot of co-workers and friends, very close friends, who have struggled a lot through the pandemic as healthcare workers," she said. "I came up with this crazy idea to run a marathon in scrubs, and I was just going to do a local, small marathon. Then I thought maybe if someone caught wind of this, it would get bigger. So, go big or go home, and I'm going to Boston."

Roecker is raising money for the American Nurses Foundation's Well-Being Initiative programs that support mental health and wellness.

She says the need is great, and the cost is high.

"Most of the time as health care workers, we have wonderful insurance, but mental health resources often aren't covered," Roecker explained. "People are paying tremendous amounts out of pocket. It's a little wild that we're not giving back to the people who have cared so much on the front lines the last couple of years."

So far, Roecker has raised roughly $35,000, almost $10,000 more than her initial goal.

The Boston Marathon is Monday, April 18.

As for running in scrubs, Roecker says the weather will dictate how they fare for 26.2 miles.

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