Run for a Reason — Virtual Edition

May 1 – 31, 2021

Even though we can’t all be together this year, every step you take will help support world-class patient care and leading-edge research at The Ottawa Hospital. You can RUN or WALK – anywhere you want – to make sure every patient has access to the most advanced lifesaving treatment when they need it most. It could be your father, sister, son, colleague, or friend.

Let’s move in 2021!

Whether you register for the 2 km, 5 km, 10 km, half marathon, or marathon, you will be a part of a meaningful experience through the virtual Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. You can make it even more special by creating a virtual team with work colleagues, family, or friends and run or walk in support of The Ottawa Hospital.

NEW! The Bytown Team Challenge

Our friends at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend have created a new and exciting challenge for you! Register your team to the Bytown Team Challenge – run or walk 2km, 5km, and 10km. There are three different team categories and prizes for the each top team! Learn more.

Our Champions

I run for my breast cancer patients.

Every day, breast surgical oncologist Dr. Erin Cordeiro meets a new patient facing a cancer diagnosis. She thinks of them as she leaves The Ottawa Hospital’s Rose Ages Breast Health Centre at the end of the day – she often thinks of them as she laces up and heads out for an evening run. Those patients inspire her to fundraise for The Ottawa Hospital at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. They are her reason for running.

Dr. Cordeiro’s practice is exclusive to treating patients with breast disease, primarily breast cancer.

“I see patients every day who are going through the challenges of a cancer diagnosis and every day of my life is very humbling. I am very grateful for the health I have and no one should take that for granted. I want to do anything I can to help – that’s why I’m running.”

Dr. Cordeiro first learned about Run for a Reason when she spotted a poster in the hospital three years ago. She knew it was a great fit and registered to support cancer research at The Ottawa Hospital.

“Seeing patients go through a cancer diagnosis or chemotherapy, and the strength that they show in facing the hardest thing they may ever have to face is what really inspires me. No matter how long of a run I have to do, I know it’s nothing compared to what my patients are going through daily, fighting for their lives.”

Research also motivates Dr. Cordeiro, as her work involves studies at The Ottawa Hospital. “My research involves quality improvement initiatives at the Rose Ages Breast Health Centre. We are constantly striving to improve the care we provide to breast health patients. We’re examining quality metrics and programmatic changes to ensure we’re providing the best breast cancer care in the country.”

Since she first registered for Run for a Reason in 2018, Dr. Cordeiro has participated in triathlons and has used the race as a training opportunity. Finding a way to give back to her patients and to attain her athletic goals, The Ottawa Hospital’s Run for a Reason is the perfect fit for Dr. Cordeiro.

I run for my daughters’ future.

I’ve been the captain of Team Rob for seven years. The team was formed when my husband, Rob, was diagnosed with cancer and began receiving care at The Ottawa Hospital. When Rob passed away in 2015, we wanted his legacy to continue with Team Rob.

In 2018, the team surpassed a fundraising milestone, raising $20,000 for cancer research at The Ottawa Hospital. Once again, this year, the team will bring together family, friends and colleagues to build hope for the future.

Cancer has taken too much away from my daughters, Charlotte and Lily, and I won’t let it be a part of their future. That’s why the funds we raise support cancer research, to others in the future.

I run to help other patients.

In 1996, I was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 46. A year later, I had a bone marrow transplant at The Ottawa Hospital. I remember being told my chance of survival was 40% but my two children, who were young at the time, told me I wouldn’t die because I was ‘too strong’.

Twenty-three years later, here I am still going strong. The care I received from Dr. Lothar Huebsch and his team was excellent—it was incredible. I’ve had other health scares crop up over the years, including a blood clot in my stomach in 2012, which resulted in surgery. Since then, I’ve had some issues with balance, which is why I now use a walker. But I’ve never been willing to let these challenges slow me down.

I’ve always stayed fit—I live for that runner’s high. That’s partly why I do the run. I want to live a full life and I know physical activity is helping me achieve that. I also do the run because of my desire to give back to other patients, in particular through the Little Angels Blood Cancer Fund. This helps ease the financial burden of patients who have to travel a significant distance for their treatment. I know what they go through and I just want to help them in the future.

Once again this year, I’ll be doing another marathon with my walker—I walk fast! It will be my seventh marathon using my walker. I not only want to raise more money to support The Ottawa Hospital but I also want to qualify for the Boston Marathon some day, so that’s motivating me too. My quest is to inspire others to do the same–it doesn’t have to be a marathon but to simply be active and live life to the fullest.



We run for Parkinson’s research.

It all started with a group of investment advisors, with a connection with Parkinson’s disease. Twelve years later, PIPR—Partners Investing in Parkinson’s Research—has raised $1.4 million through Run for a Reason at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend.

Once again this year, dozens of people will rally and walk or run in the spirit of supporting the world-class Parkinson’s research happening at The Ottawa Hospital. Karin Fuller, co-captain of team PIPR, says while the purpose is to fundraise—the roots of this group go much deeper. “It was initially looked at as an investment to find a cure. Now, it’s like a second family for many people. It’s like a support system. A group which brings people together to feel supported.”

It’s also very personal for many including Karin, who has watched her dad live with Parkinson’s, which is now quite advanced.

PIPR provides support

PIPR is the definition of a support group for Elaine Goetz, who has been involved for seven years. She has been living with Parkinson’s for 13 years now, and PIPR gives her hope. “I see what research is being done; it’s quite impressive and I’m privileged to be involved with such a great organization,” says Elaine.

She looks forward to the group coming together each year. “When you have a condition like Parkinson’s, it’s so easy to become isolated if you don’t know anyone else who has the disease or you don’t have the support. What PIPR does for me, is it makes me feel a part of a community. It’s important to be involved. It empowers me to live well with Parkinson’s.”

While PIPR is marking a dozen years together, they are always recruiting new people to join. That’s how Kristy Shortall-Cain, co-captain of team PIPR, became involved in the past year. Like many others involved, she has good family friends who have Parkinson’s. It all started when she was invited to a PIPR meeting. “I was just blown away by the people who were around the table, from people with the disease, to family and friends, like me, to doctors, and researchers from The Ottawa Hospital—all with a common goal and everyone is really pumped up about it.”

Seeing results

The group is also motivated by the results they see. Elaine is quick to point out PIPR helped to bring deep brain stimulation surgery (DBS) to The Ottawa Hospital. Karin knows firsthand what that means. “When my dad had that surgery he had to go to Toronto, which meant going back and forth for the appointments. It was a lot for him and for our family. DBS is a tangible example of what we’ve been able to do as a group to support The Ottawa Hospital.”

More than 100,000 Canadians live with Parkinson’s, including 8,000 here in Ottawa. Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects voluntary, controlled movement.

I run to help the people who saved my life.

On Friday, January 11, 2019, I was on my way home for the weekend when the double-decker OC Transpo bus I was riding on crashed into the overhang of the Westboro transit station. I was one of 13 severely injured patients rushed to the Trauma Centre at The Ottawa Hospital.

Incredibly, I was conscious when I arrived at the Emergency Department. I remember I had lost so much blood and after my CT scan, my blood pressure began to plummet, but the trauma team was ready. The nurse in the ED had O negative blood in her pocket. They immediately started pumping blood back into my system and my blood pressure stabilized. I was quickly rolled into the operating room and the only time I passed out was when they put the mask on to put me to sleep for surgery.

I woke up two days later — Sunday morning. I was groggy and swollen. That’s when my husband broke the news that both of my legs had been amputated. I believe that most people are very good at handling the little changes they might face. However, it is impossible to fully prepare for the things that change you completely. I cried. I denied it. But I anchored myself to one simple thought: A life without legs is better than no life at all. I realized I wanted to see my children grow up far more than I wanted my legs.

The Ottawa Hospital had a plan. I began my rehabilitation almost immediately, while still in the trauma unit. Just over a month later, I moved to The Ottawa Hospital’s Rehabilitation Centre, where I would spend two months learning to live in a completely new way. This place is a hidden treasure in our city. Like too many people, I didn’t even know it existed. But it is a critical part of a system that people don’t always think about until they suddenly depend on it.

Today, my recovery continues. I’m learning to walk again thanks to new prosthetics. I’ve joined Run for a Reason because I want to help the people who had saved my life. But I also believe that everyone deserves the best healthcare we can deliver, and I have a unique opportunity here to help a lot more people.
I’m nervous about participating in the virtual Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. I’m still learning about what my body can and cannot do now. I’m getting used to my limitations. But it doesn’t matter that it’s probably going to be hard; it matters that I try.

If you’re behind me, you’re also helping yourself. This is about the health of our community. Support for me today, will transform into the care you may need tomorrow.

Join our Champions in the 2021 virtual edition of Run for a Reason!

Fundraising Tools

Check out the great fundraising tools to reach your goal including fundraising tips, emails, social media, and more. We can’t wait to see what you can do!

Step 1: Create a list of potential supporters

Think of everyone you know who would be happy to support you and create a list – friends, family, co-workers, neighbours, etc.

Step 2: Personalize your approach and make the ask!

Think of the best way to contact every person on your list, whether it’s virtually through a video call, by sending an email, or by writing them a letter — personalize your approach to every potential supporter!

Step 3: Get creative and put the “fun” in fundraising

In addition to your letters and emails, we encourage you to get creative and think of a fun activity or event that you can organize to help reach your fundraising goal! While we must adhere to physical distancing guidelines, there are so many options virtually.

Step 4: Reach out to corporate contacts for large donations

Talk to your business networks and see if any companies would be interested in supporting your team! Check out our adopt-a-runner and adopt-a-team forms. A company can sponsor you or your team in exchange for recognition opportunities through Run for a Reason!

Step 5: Always say thank you!

It is incredibly important to always take the time to say “thank you” to your supporters, whether it’s through an email, phone call, or a hand-written card or letter. They played a big part in your fundraising success!

#1 Send a personalized message

Send out a personal email or letter requesting donations. Don’t be shy – ask your friends, family, neighbours, and professional network. Sample text for emails and letters are included in our Fundraising Toolkit.

#2 Get active on social media

Social media is an excellent way to engage with potential donors and create conversation about Run for a Reason! There are many different social media platforms you can use – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, a blog, etc. This is a great way to share your journey, provide updates on your fundraising, ask for donations, and show your network what Run for a Reason is all about. Make it fun!

Follow us:

Twitter: @OttawaHospital #SupportTOH

Facebook: @OttawaHospital

Instagram: @OttawaHospital

Sample social media posts:

Hey! Check out Run for a Reason – Virtual Edition! I’m running to support @OttawaHospital! Help me reach my fundraising goal of $_____! #SupportTOH #IStartHere

I’m running __km to support the future of healthcare @OttawaHospital! #SupportTOH #IStartHere

Lace up and join me as I Run for a Reason supporting @OttawaHospital. Virtual teamwork makes it so much more fun! #SupportTOH  #IStartHere

I do the run for _____ (my mom, my dad, my neighbour, my best friend) and support @OttawaHospital. #SupportTOH #IStartHere


    • Be sure to add a picture and get more attention on social media!
    • Include the link to your fundraising page.
    • If you are going to walk, simply change Run to Walk in the sample social media.
    • Share several times on social media. You’ll be amazed by who donates or even joins your team.

#3 Personalize your fundraising page

Get creative and have fun! Update your fundraising page on Race Roster to include your picture, why you run or walk, and your fundraising goal to support The Ottawa Hospital. Our team is here to help you cross the fundraising finish line, which will help support ground-breaking research at The Ottawa Hospital.

Register your public fundraising event for Run for a Reason by contacting with the following information:

      • Event Name
      • Date
      • Time
      • Location
      • Organizer contact information
      • Any other details (cost, what to bring, what to wear, who can take part, etc.)

We’ll be happy to share it on social!

#4 Ask corporate sponsors

Think about your corporate networks and use our personal sponsorship forms to ask for large donations—follow the links below. By Adopting a Team, a company will:

      • Have their name appear in The Ottawa Hospital Journal, a newsletter distributed to 10,000 employees of The Ottawa Hospital.
      • Have their name appear on The Ottawa Hospital Foundation website.

A company will also receive some the same benefits from Adopting an Individual!

#5 Go old school

Download the Run for a Reason pledge form. Using your online fundraising page and this pledge form is a great way to combine online fundraising with the traditional kind!

#6 FUNdraising milestones

Another fun way to reach your fundraising goal is to attach your fundraising to major events, celebrations, and holidays. Here are some examples:

      • Birthday Celebration — Instead of receiving gifts on your birthday, ask for donations towards your run.
      • Anniversary — Have friends and family celebrate a special anniversary by making a donation to your fundraising campaign.
      • Virtual Lunch – While we can’t host in-person events yet, you can still connect via Zoom, Teams, or Skype. Bring a group of work colleagues together to share your story about Why You Run. Maybe something on St. Patrick’s Day, around Easter, or the first day of spring. Have your colleagues dress-up to your theme. Ask them to support your run – even a $5 donation will have an impact!

Update your email signature

Let your network know you will Run for a Reason. Add this icon to your email signature.

Sample emails

Recruit team members

Subject: Let’s move in 2021!

Dear __,

What could be better than running or walking to change lives and support The Ottawa Hospital? The training is good for our health; as a virtual team, we’ll have fun and we’ll be supporting the most important healthcare centre in eastern Ontario – The Ottawa Hospital.

It’s win, win, win!

Join me anytime from May 1 — 31, 2021, as I will be taking part in Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. But I won’t just be crossing the virtual finish line for the fun of it; I’ll also be raising important funds for The Ottawa Hospital and I’d love it if you would join me in the fun!

It’s so easy!  We don’t have to take part in the same event and you can run OR walk.  We’ll be fundraising together for a cause that’s important to all of us—world-class healthcare for those we love.

After you’ve signed up, you can ask your friends and family to support our fundraising efforts by making a donation to your online fundraising page.

Registration is simple (Share link to your fundraising team page). Visit my team page, click join team, and register through Race Roster! There will be an option to join an existing team during the registration process.

If you’d like more information, contact The Ottawa Hospital Foundation at 613-798-5555, ext. 19832, or by e-mail at You can also visit the website at


Ask People to Sponsor You

Subject:  Let’s help change lives!

Dear __,

Sometime between May 1 – 31, 2021, I will Run for a Reason and support The Ottawa Hospital at the Virtual Edition of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. I’ll do the hard work, but I need your help to raise these vital funds. I hope you will consider making a donation in support of my run. When I cross the finish line, I’ll be smiling and thinking of you!

Together, we can help change lives! We’ll also be ensuring researchers at The Ottawa Hospital can continue to make advancements in diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, and many more.

Donate now! (share the link to your fundraising page)


Send a cheque payable to “The Ottawa Hospital Foundation”. The address is below:

Run for a Reason 
c/o The Ottawa Hospital Foundation 
737 Parkdale Avenue, 1st floor 
Ottawa, ON K1Y 1J8 

Make sure you include my name on the envelope, or in the notes section of the cheque. You can also add a note if you choose to have your donation remain anonymous.

If you love to run or walk, you can also join me and raise funds for The Ottawa Hospital. Visit to register!

Your support is tremendous — thank you!

Thank your sponsors email

Subject: Thank you for donating to my Run for a Reason

You are incredible!

Thank you for supporting my Run for a Reason and The Ottawa Hospital. You are helping to change lives. I couldn’t have done this without you!

Thanks again for your support!

Let’s move in 2021!

Thank you for supporting The Ottawa Hospital!

If you have questions, or would like to share your successes or concerns, please contact our Run for a Reason team.
We would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

For more information email or call 613-798-5555 ext. 19832.