Filipino-Canadian mother Aubrey de Lima is set to join the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 7 to raise funds for the Canuck Place Children's Hospice.
The said facility holds a special place in De Lima's heart. It gave her and her family their last memories of her daughter Lauren, in the final two weeks of her life.
Lauren had been born with a rare metabolic condition called propionic acidemia. She passed away in 2010 at the age of nine.
"We stayed there for two weeks not knowing that that's going to be our last time we're going to have her," De Lima said.
During that short time, De Lima said Canuck Place took care of their daily needs to allow them to focus on their daughter.
"Since then, I said, I'll make a promise to fundraise for nine years for Canuck Place because of Lauren's nine years," she said. "So in 2019, we actually did nine events that year. And I think we raised over $25,000 for Canuck Place."
De Lima began running half-marathons in 2012 to fulfill her vow to raise funds for Canuck Place. Through the years, she grew to love running as it helped process the grief and deal with her loss.
She said she is determined to run once more at the Vancouver Marathon which falls on May 7, the International Bereaved Mother's Day.
Their target is to raise $40,000 for Canuck Place. De Lima said she aims to put up a similar hospice in the Philippines in memory of Lauren someday.
"It’s part of my healing journey too," she said. "I don't know if I'll be doing the full marathons but I'll be continuing to run as far as my legs will take me."