Honouring Their Father’s Fight: Two Sisters Run to Raise Money for Cancer Research at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

“Choose something more important to you than the temptation to give up and use it as your motivation to get to the finish line,” says Dalia Kimmel, who will be running the half-marathon at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend with her sister Ariella Kimmel. The Toronto-based sisters, who consider Ottawa home, will be raising money for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation in honour of their father’s ongoing battle with cancer.

Their father, Steven Kimmel, is an avid cyclist, who before his diagnosis, participated in rides around the world, often as one of the top fundraisers. Since they were young, he’s instilled a commitment to charitable work, leading by example. “His battle with cancer has not been easy, but he proves time and time again how incredibly strong he is. He continues to set the bar very high as a role model. While 21.1km will certainly push us, we are motivated by our father’s strength and know firsthand this challenge is nothing compared to what cancer patients and their families deal with every day,” Dalia says.

This will be Dalia’s fourth half-marathon and Ariella’s first. “While the physical challenge of long-distance running and conditioning for a race like this takes a toll on the body, it’s a habit and mental practice that allows me dedicated time for myself and space to process and reflect,” says Dalia.

To Dalia and Ariella, the race is about more than the physical challenge. It’s an opportunity to honour their father’s fight, raise funds for a cause they deeply care about, and inspire others to join the fight against cancer. “The ORCF is instrumental for both patient care and research and we hope we can make a difference in their ongoing efforts, ” Dalia says.

The sisters hope their participation will inspire others to include charitable fundraising in their own pursuits.”Supporting a cause makes any experience more meaningful, especially for anyone running their first race, no matter the distance,” Dalia says. “Not only has fundraising given me purpose throughout training, but crossing the finish line will be so much more significant knowing our efforts will make a difference in the lives of cancer patients.”

This larger cause is also what keeps them motivated as they train for their run. “Focusing on the reason I chose to do this in the first place – a cause that’s personally meaningful – has served as a reminder that I’m persevering for something bigger than myself and has been the reason I’ve kept going when I’ve wanted to quit,” she adds.

On what else she’s looking forward to on the other side on the finish line? “Seeing my dad at the finish line, cheering us on. And a cold beer.”

There’s still time to join their team —aptly named F*ck Cancer—or donate to their cause here.