Teen takes action after father’s brush with cancer
Compete for the Cure. 17-year- old behind charity dodgeball and basketball tournament this Sunday that has already raised $70,000
“Once approved, Wu will be tried in a Chinese court,” she added.
Han and Fei disappeared from Fei’s multimillion-dollar home on Featherston Drive. Fei was found alive and badly injured in a Toronto parking lot six days later, but Han was found dead the following summer in a Markham home. An autopsy confirmed he died of a heart attack while being held captive. Lauren Clarfield didn’t realize how close she had come to losing her father when he sat her down to deliver news of his pancreatic cancer diagnosis nearly five years ago.
In fact, it wasn’t until last summer, when they took part in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a cycling fundraiser, when it finally dawned on the 17-year-old how lucky she was to have her father there beside her, cancer-free.
“He (my dad) was saying that all I really care is that you’re here beside me, I don’t care if you finish, I’m just happy to be alive, and I never thought I would be biking beside my kids again,” said Clarfield, recalling herself sitting on the side of the road, on the verge of giving up.
It was that precise moment that spurred Clarfield into action to create Compete for the Cure, a charity sporting event for high school students, to give back to the cancer community.
“After I got back on the bike, I realized how lucky I was and how grateful I should be and how I’ve sort of underestimated the severity of the disease,” said Clarfield, about one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in Canada.
“I just wanted youth to be able to get involved in events to raise funds towards cancer research. Not only that, but have them feel welcome.” Lauren Clarfield
But having attended several charity cancer events with her dad before, she knew hers was going to be different.
“I realized that a lot of events aren’t youth-oriented,” she said. “I just wanted youth to be able to get involved in events to raise funds towards cancer research. Not only that, but have them feel welcome.”
The one-day dodgeball and basketball tournament is set to take place this Sunday. Now with almost 400 Grade 11 and 12 students from 20 local high schools registered for the event, Clarfield has already raised $70,000.
Clarfield’s hoping, by the end of the event, they’ll have more than $80,000. The proceeds will go to Pancreatic Cancer Canada, which funds research, education and treatment programs.
With this experience under her belt, Clarfield is looking to expand her vision for Compete for the Cure.
“We hope to have it annually and have new people take on leadership roles and sort of pass on the torch as they get older,” she said.
Lauren and her father, Dr. Michael Clarfield, during a ski trip to Whistler last March.