“I’m Walking 40K In Memory Of My Dad”

Caralia Fabiano is training for a long walk. And she will think of her father, who died at 48 years old, every step of the way.

One Walk Charity Walk, Caralia Fabiano as a baby with her father

A charity walk for her father

Caralia Fabiano’s father was told he had a year to live in late 2011. Five years previous, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“I just got engaged,” she says. “The chemo made him so sick that he decided to stop it and focus on quality of life. We had already planned our wedding for August 2012, because we expected my dad to be around. But, when we learned he only had a few months, we planned our wedding in two weeks so my dad could be there. I wanted my dad to walk me down the aisle. We got married in February 2012 and he died in May that year, at 59. It was so great for him to be there.”

On September 9, 2017, Fabiano, a 31-year-old marketing director, will be walking 40K for Rexall OneWalk to Conquer Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. And she will be taking the memories of her dad with her with every step. She’s set this #BHmoment goal, not only to train for a 40K walk, but to raise an impressive amount of money. Here’s how:

What is your goal?

“I am one of the co-captains of Team Acosta Mosaic Cares. Our team hopes to raise over $100,000 this year,” says Fabiano. “As a team, [we] hosts multiple fundraisers throughout the summer at our offices including barbecues, game nights and garage sales. […] On a personal level, I use the months leading up to talk to my family and friends about the cause and why I’m committed to walking. I take the mentality of – even if you can only give me a dollar, give me a dollar. I have always met my fundraising goal. In fact, I usually exceed it.”

As for the walk itself, Fabiano says she chose the 40K walk (participants can choose 15-, 25- or 40-kilometre routes) because she feels the longest distance best represents the impact her family, and other families go through with cancer.

“The challenge for me this year has been preparing for the 40-kilometre distance. However, I am pushing myself to do it because I believe we can’t compare any everyday hardship to what so many of us go through when cancer impacts our families.”

What did you learn from your experience? Would you do anything differently?

“I’ve learned that nothing is impossible,” says Fabiano. “I’ve learned that it’s very important that we continue to fund raise for Princess Margaret Cancer Centre so their world-leading teams can continue to lead the way in personalized cancer medicine.”

What do you personally get out of doing the walk?

“There is so much unity and camaraderie,” she tells us about the emotions the day of the walk. “I have met so many people. I’ve interacted with people on my team who I never knew before the event, I’ve connected with industry and business leaders, I’ve made ties with participants and community members that I’ll never forget. This is more than a fundraiser. It is a union of people filled with hope. […] Thousands are uniting for one common goal. The hardest part is saying, ‘Okay. I can do this!’ And if I can, so can you.”

What else are you proud of?

“I know my dad would be so proud that I am continuing to raise awareness around cancer and the amazing work Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is doing to find new treatments.”

Team Mosaic group shot

For more info on the Rexall OneWalk to Conquer Cancer, visit onewalk.ca or call 416-815-9255.

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