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Grade 12 student Lauren Clarfield organized Compete for the Cure, a day-long dodge ball and basketball tournament, to raise money for pancreatic cancer research.

FRED LUM/The Globe and Mail

The donor: Lauren Clarfield

The gift: Organizing Compete for the Cure

The reason: To raise money for research into pancreatic cancer

Story continues below advertisement

Lauren Clarfield was 11 years old when her father, Michael, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in Canada.

"At the time I was trying to understand how serious it was," Ms. Clarfield, who is now 17, recalled from the family's home in Toronto.

After surgery and treatment, her father managed to beat the odds and is now cancer free. He began raising money for Pancreatic Cancer Canada, which funds research, education and treatment programs. Ms. Clarfield participated in some of the fundraising activities with her father but soon felt out of place among so many adults. She decided to involve more young people in the cause and came up with the idea of organizing a sports event for high school students. That led to Compete for the Cure, a day-long dodge ball and basketball tournament that takes place on Jan. 12 in Toronto.

Nearly 400 students from about 17 schools across the city will be participating and Ms. Clarfield has already raised $60,000 from various sponsors. She is hoping to pull in more than $80,000 once the event is over. Proceeds will to go Pancreatic Cancer Canada.

"It has been a lot more work than I anticipated but we are a stubborn bunch," said Ms. Clarfield, who is a Grade 12 student at the York School. "If this money means that other people can live with their fathers or family members that means so much to me."

pwaldie@globeandmail.com

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