Dor­val Mother Outruns Ad­ver­sity and Champions Char­ity

Montreal Times - - News -

Since 2008, Dor­val res­i­dent Sonia Guaras­cio has been a peren­nial pres­ence at the char­i­ta­ble Oka Na­tional Park Race. The event is or­ga­nized by The Run­ning Room, and ben­e­fits WIAIH (pro­nounced why-ah), the West Is­land As­so­ci­a­tion for the In­tel­lec­tu­ally Hand­i­capped, a Mon­tréal area non-profit close to Sonia's heart.

Ev­ery year since be­fore he could walk, Sonia has brought her son So­ran along with her. Now 9 years old, he par­tic­i­pates in the 1 KM kids' "fun run."

While Sonia en­joys run­ning, she has also used the race as a way to fundraise for WIAIH. She does this be­cause So­ran, a ball of vi­brant en­ergy whose huge smile will melt your heart, has Down Syn­drome.

In 2016, Sonia was di­ag­nosed with breast cancer.

Rais­ing a child with spe­cial needs is al­ready a real chal­lenge for any sin­gle par­ent, de­spite WIAIH pro­vid­ing some sup­port for Sonia.The cancer di­ag­no­sis must have seemed like an in­sur­mount­able hur­dle.

She un­der­went a gru­el­ing regime of chemo­ther­apy and ra­di­a­tion treat­ments which left her ex­hausted and strug­gling to keep up with her ev­ery­day life. She wasn’t able to run in our fundraiser last Novem­ber, break­ing our com­mu­nity's col­lec­tive hearts. Every­one who knows her was wish­ing so hard she’d pull through.

In an amaz­ing dis­play of per­sonal deter­mi­na­tion and an in­cred­i­ble work ethic, she has com­pleted those ther­a­pies, fought her cancer, and is once again join­ing the an­nual race - with lit­tle So­ran at her side - hav­ing missed only a sin­gle year.

To top it all off, she has sin­gle­hand­edly be­come the event's top in­di­vid­ual fundraiser in 2017, hav­ing al­ready re­ceived pledges for over $900 on her crowd­fund­ing page. She’s set her goal at $2000, and any­one can pledge more sup­port for her ef­fort by vis­it­ing this link:

http://bit.do/So­niaG

She is a hero to all those who know her, a beloved part of the WIAIH fam­ily, and embodies the Oka Race’s motto: Go­ing the dis­tance, to­gether. Con­grat­u­la­tions Sonia!

The an­nual Oka Park Race get started at 8 AM on Sun­day Nov. 5, and reg­is­tra­tion is on­go­ing at the Run­ning Room web­site:

http://bit.do/Oka2017

Karim Jaf­fer with tele­scope

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