Yana Hempler has ran a series of marathons to raise money for the Victoria Hospitals Foundation before, but this year it has taken on a new personal meaning.
She planned to do a similar run in 2022, then she got sick.
“In 2022, I got extremely sick, I got so sick that I was unable to walk, and I was unable to work, unable to run,” Hempler said. “I had to spend a month in the hospital and they did a bunch of different tests, they didn’t find anything. But that whole sickness that came out of nowhere, it caused me to get depression, because I wasn’t able to do anything.”
For this year’s fundraiser, the money will go towards the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, as it had previously, but this time it is also as a personal thanks for the help she receieved.
“To celebrate my return to running I’m going to do 10 marathons in 10 days for the Victoria Hospital Foundation because I did get a lot of tests done here where they were trying to look for what was going on,” Hempler said.
“So I really appreciate the work that the nurses and the doctors put into helping me. This is my celebration of my return to something that I’m super passionate about, which is running for good causes.”
The Victoria Hospitals Foundation says it is grateful for Hempler’s fundraising efforts.
“Yana is supporting the hospital team members that cared for her in such a meaningful way. We are inspired by her journey, and thankful she is putting our care teams front and centre,” said Gaëlle van Erp, associate director of marketing and communications for the Victoria Hospitals Foundation.
July 6 was the fourth day of her run and she says this year she is going slower than usual to account for the heat.
Every day until July 12, Hempler will be running 10.5 loops of the Galloping Goose and Lochside Trail between the Tillicum and Saanich roads.
“I hope that people will find it in their hearts to donate to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, because our health care workers, they help a lot of people and at some point or another, it affects everybody,” Hempler said.
“Even though times are a bit tough right now, with all the cost of living going up and everything, I really hope that people can still find [the ability] to donate. It doesn’t matter if they can donate $5 or $500, I’ll be happy with any donations.”