First, she found out she was pregnant with her first child. Then she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.

That launched Laurel Sopher’s indestructible bond with her now nine-year-old son, Alexander, as the two spent 21 weeks of her pregnancy going through chemotherapy.

“He’s my cancer survivor baby,” said Sopher, a survivor spokesperson for this year’s CIBC Run for the Cure. “We’ve been through so much together and we really have that extra bond together.”

Sopher said she was persistent when she found the lumps because many doctors believed it was a normal part of pregnancy.

“But I knew it in my heart. My son saved my life. The doctor said if I wasn’t pregnant, I wouldn’t have found the lumps in my breasts.”

Since 2002, Sopher and Alexander haven’t yet missed a CIBC Run for the Cure, and are often joined by the rest of the family.

Suzanne Fallowfield, volunteer co-run director, said they were inundated with positive support.

“Each year we see an overwhelming amount of support from Calgarians,” she said.