Teenage Girl Running Coast to Coast to raise Poverty Awareness

Categories: Prairie News


Candace Sutherland has overcome some insurmountable odds in her young lifetime. At the tender age of 17, Candace has experienced a childhood rife with poverty, dependence of food banks and a brief stay in foster care.  Born into a family with a developmentally delayed mother and schizophrenic father, Candace never celebrated Christmas like other children her age did.  At 8 years of age, Candace’s life changed drastically when a government agency diagnosed her mother with her disorder and placed Candace in custody.

Fortunately, Candace’s aunt and uncle moved to Manitoba and gained custody of Candace and her two older brothers.  With the backing of a stable family life, Candace thrived and soon began running after school.  By the age of twelve she was running distances of ten miles and has since then competed in numerous marathons and long distance prize races.  Putting her talents to good use, Candace is now using her running skills to help raise awareness about marginalized people in Canada and her hometown of Winnipeg.  Candace reflects that “Many times on my way to train I would see lots of people at soup lines.  Sometimes I noticed children in line and this would give me flash backs of when I went to those places to get food.  I decided that is what I wanted to do with my running skills – use running to help bring awareness to what is happening to our people.”  Candace adds, “I have seen them come to me sick from cancer, diabetes, sick from poverty, sick from heart attacks and strokes.  I have decided to run across Canada to try and make life easier for people who suffer from these terrible causes.”

On Monday, March 8, 2010, Candace will begin her journey to run from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia to raise money for The Salvation Army and three other charities: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Canadian Diabetes Association, and Canadian Cancer Society.  The cross-country trek, which is called “Vision4Hope”, is expected to take between eight months and a year.

Donations can be made via the teen’s website at www.candacesutherland.com