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The donors: Andrea, Adrian and Antonio Sluga

The gift: Raising $45,000 and climbing

The cause: Toronto’s Silver Creek Preschool

Story continues below advertisement

When Antonio Sluga was born just more than three years ago, his parents knew right away that he was different.

Antonio didn’t cry, he had trouble eating and his responses, over all, were limited. His parents – Andrea and Adrian Sluga – were eventually told that their son had a rare mutation in one of his chromosomes that caused developmental delays. Even now, Antonio doesn’t crawl, walk or talk.

A couple of years ago, the family enrolled Antonio at Toronto’s Silver Creek Preschool, which specializes in programs for children with special needs. Antonio has flourished and become more responsive and mobile. “I don’t know where he’d be if it wasn’t for Silver Creek,” Ms. Sluga said from the family’s home in Toronto.

Last year, the Slugas launched a fundraising event for the school called the Toni-yo-yo Run for Fun, using a nickname for Antonio. About 300 people participated and the run raised $35,000. The money helped offset tuition and transportation costs for 16 families who have children attending the school. This year’s run is on Sunday and Ms. Sluga said that $10,000 has already been raised. The Slugas, who also have two daughters, hope that one day Antonio will be able to participate in the run but even if he doesn’t Ms. Sluga said “he’s going to continue to make us smile.”

Raising money for Silver Creek “just goes to show that my son was meant to be in my life so that I can help other people through telling our story,” she added. “He’s brought out this inner strength that I would have never been able to see within myself.”

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