This weekend marks a couple large events happening within our local community. National Volunteer Week 2017 is wrapping up on Saturday and many Victorians will hit the ground running on Sunday morning for the 28th annual TC10K run.
If you follow our newsletter, you already know that at HeartPress we’ve been helping the TC10K highlight their charity partners and sponsors. To kick-off the weekend, we wanted to share a couple of courageous, inspiring stories that touched our hearts.
Jerry Hughes, running for the Help Fill a Dream Foundation of Canada
Jerry Hughes’ connection to Help Fill a Dream goes back 15 years to when he was taken to Disneyland with his siblings. Jerry started running 3 years ago, at 221 pounds. Since, his stats as a novice runner are impressive: Boston Marathon qualifier, over 30 events a year, 24 hour and 100k runs. He’s clocked 7,000 kilometres in the last 15 months.
This is even more impressive because Jerry suffers from Gardner’s Syndrome–a hereditary colon disease. After having parts of his colon removed, Jerry runs with a J-pouch. With no cure, the disease took the life of Jerry’s father at the early age of 34. And as the father of two young boys, ages 3 and 5, his boys are too young to know if they’ll have the disease.
This year, Jerry’s running the TC10K for the Help Fill A Dream Foundation. Jerry runs to inspire and to show his boys that anything is possible.
Help Fill a Dream offers hope to Vancouver-Island children with life-threatening conditions by fulfilling their dreams. Since 1986, Help Fill a Dream has supported over 2,000 children’s dreams. From meeting their favourite sports figure, Disney character to going on a dream trip –dreams come in all shapes and sizes.
Caroline, running the TC10K for the Cystic Fibrosis Society of Canada
Caroline’s connection to Cystic Fibrosis Canada goes back to 1985, to when her daughter was born with the fatal genetic disease. After years of struggling, her daughter, Ashley received a double-lung transplant. Caroline is running the TC10K in memory of her daughter, Ashley, who would have been 32 in March. “I’m running for her because she could never run anywhere without running out of breath. I’m running for all the Ashley’s who can’t.”
Running her first ever 10K, Caroline believes that “”you either like [running] or you don’t.” Thankfully, for Caroline, her relationship with running sprung from the freedom of the activity itself. ”I like that I can just go–run. I like how I can just run my own pace.” Caroline isn’t just running in the short term, but it’s an activity she wants to do for a long time: “I want to be one of those old ladies, like who’s 80, who’s putting on my shoes and running… I want to be able to do it for a long time.”
Cystic Fibrosis Canada is a national non-profit organization, investing $150+ million in leading research, innovation and care, for the genetic disease. This has resulted in Cystic Fibrosis Canadians having one of the highest median survival rates in the world. Cystic Fibrosis Canada is one of the world’s top three charitable organizations committed to finding a cure.
Good luck to Jerry, Caroline, and everyone else running Victoria’s annual TC10K and Thrifty Foods Family Run on Sunday!
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