Run4Dreams director Yana Hempler presents a cheque to Help Fill a Dream Foundation director Craig Smith. (Photo submitted)

Saanich runner helps bring dreams to life

A Saanich running enthusiast is going the extra mile to help raise funds for children battling serious illness.

Yana Hempler has launched a new website,, to use her passion for running to raise funds for the Help Fill a Dream Foundation. The non-profit foundation provides hope, help and happiness for Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands’ children with life-threatening conditions by fulfilling their dreams, improving their quality of life, and assisting their families with care and financial support.

“My inspiration to enlist runners to raise money for Help Fill a Dream comes from my work with Jerry Hughes. Jerry is a former Help Fill a Dream kid who excelled at running despite being diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Gardner’s Syndrome,” said Hempler. “He is now an international competitor and serves as an inspiration to those who want to compete in ultra marathons.”

She said her goal is to use running to not only promote health, but to provide hope to those who have life-threatening conditions.

“We are always honoured to work with those in the community who are passionate about giving back to those who need help” said Craig Smith, executive director with Help Fill a Dream. “Yana is committed to leveraging her passion for running and partnering with community businesses, to promote health and wellness while raising money to fulfill the dreams of injured and ill children.

Run4Dreams raised $400 for Help Fill a Dream Foundation this year and the goal is to grow the event for 2018. Participants receive a free pair of high-quality Run4Dreams athletic socks and they have the opportunity to win draw prizes as well as cash prizes.

For more information about Run4Dreams, visit

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