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The donors: Sacha Hayward, Jonathan Pollock, Max Pollock and Charlie Pollock

The gift: Raising $46,000

The cause: the Canadian Cancer Society

When Sacha Hayward was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, she felt stunned and helpless.

“You never think it’s going to be you,” Ms. Hayward recalled from her home in Toronto. “It’s one of those things where if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.” After the diagnosis in September, 2018, she went through surgery, radiation and months of treatment, which still continue.

This fall she suggested to her husband, Jonathan Pollock, and their two sons – Max and Charlie – that they participate in the Run for the Cure, an annual fundraising event that raises money for the Canadian Cancer Society. “The Run for the Cure didn’t necessarily have a meaning to me before all of this came into our world,” she said. “I said to Jonathan, ‘I think we should do the run. I think it’s important for our boys to see that I am well enough to do that.' ”

The run was on Oct. 6 and the family had hoped to raise $5,000. They collected $46,000 and were joined in the event by 45 friends and family members. Ms. Hayward isn’t a runner, so the family walked the five-kilometre distance, and they plan to be back again next year. “No matter what I am able to raise, the goal is to just continue to be able to contribute to research,” she said. “Because in the end, that research has helped me get to where I am today.”