People raise $140K for Toronto family after mother dies during run at High Park
Friends are rallying to support a Toronto family after a mother of two children died suddenly in High Park.
Jenn Gouveia, 38, died of a cardiac arrest while out for a run in High Park on Sunday, July 4, says Allison Martin, a long-time friend of Gouveia and her husband Mitch.
The couple, together for 14 years, has two daughters, aged six and four. Mitch lost his job as a chef during the pandemic and will now have to look after the two girls.
Martin wanted to find a way to help and started a GoFundMe for the family, which has already raised nearly $150,000 in less than 24 hours since it was posted on July 6.
"There has been an outpouring of support," Martin tells blogTO.
Jenn and Mitch are part of a close-knit group of friends with young children in Bloor West Village and Swansea area. She was a beloved person in the community.
Gouveia worked for LuluLemon for 10 years and most recently she was the manager for the Sherway Gardens store. She was committed to health and wellness so her sudden death was a shock.
She had got up that Sunday like any other and they were preparing to go to a friend's barbecue in the afternoon. Gouveia, like she had many times before, said she was going out for a quick run but never came back.
"It wasn't something that was anticipated, it was just a casual run on a Sunday morning," Martin says.
A doctor found her but it was too late. An autopsy has been ordered because Gouveia was so healthy and young.
"She was, for all intents and purposes healthy, exercised regularly, didn't smoke, didn't drink, ate well," she says.
If they do find a preventable cause of death, the family would share it to help others.
Gouveia was "the rock of her family." She lived for her girls and Mitch.
During lockdown she started a Sunday girls day with her daughters.
"The last thing they did at the end of June was go out strawberry picking."
She was a hard-working and confident woman.
"She had this great wit and she was her own person — she didn't conform to anyone else’s expectations."
Gouveia's story has spread and support has come from both those who knew her and strangers touched by the story.
"We are shocked but we are just so encouraged by the outpouring of love and support."
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