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HERO SPOTLIGHT: Stephanie Johnston

Posted on January 27 2016

Stephanie Johnston

Stephanie is many things.  A Brantford, Ontario native, a Sophomore at Concordia University in Anne Abor, Michigan and a gifted athlete and member of her university’s Cross Country Track Team.  But above all this Stephanie is an inspiration and a hero.  Once learning her story, we think you’ll agree. 

Stephanie’s young friend, six-year old Garcia, was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia.  Upon learning this, Stephanie took action by putting her love for running to good use by pledging to run more than 300 miles in an effort to raise awareness for this debilitating disease and money to benefit the Aplastic Anemia and Myelodysplasia Association of Canada.  Stephanie also founded the Garcia Cartoon Classic, a 5K race which has raised more than $7,000 for this most worthy cause.  Before Stephanie began her 300 mile journey, Garcia gave her a pair of Yo Sox socks for good luck.  Stephanie affectionately nicknamed the socks her “Lucky Garcia Socks” and has worn her lucky Yo Sox each time she laces up her running shoes.

We are happy to report Garcia has received a successful bone marrow transplant and doing well!  He attends Junior Kindergarten and is now free to play and enjoy time with his friends without fear of infection or illness.  Stephanie continues to raise awareness for Aplastic Anemia while continuing her studies in Exercise Science with hopes of one day of returning back to Canada and pursuing her dreams of teaching.


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