Ese Omene is home for Christmas and looking looking for an early present.
The White City, Sask. product is an Olympic hopeful in the 400 metres. She has started a crowdfunding campaign at makeachamp.com in an effort to raise $4,500 for training and travel expenses for competitions.
"I call myself a volunteer sprinter because I don't get paid for it now," Omene said. "Every so often Sask. Athletics helps me out with a little bit of money, but in the long-run there's a lot of things I need to pay for that come out of my pocket, my mom's pocket."
Missed London Olympics by seconds
In 2012, Omene was one and a half seconds from making the Olympic team. The former University of Regina track star didn't give up on her dream.
She lives in Toronto and trains full-time. Omene is hoping to crack the national team for this summer's Pan-Am games in her new backyard. Omene estimates training and competitions cost about $10,000 per year.
Two years ago, she made $2,000 in prize money. So to get to the Olympics in 2016, she needs to go into debt.
'This has been a dream of mine since I've been a little kid' - Ese Omene
"If I can get three plus competitions in California and I'm looking to Europe, it's going to set me up and prepare me for the next level," Omene said. "This campaign is to raise money to be able to do those things without being stressed out (and) be able to focus 100 per cent just on training."
Just shy of goal
As of Monday, Omene had raised nearly $3,000. She has less than two weeks to get to her goal of $4,500 or she doesn't get a penny.
"This has been a dream of mine since I've been a little kid and I've never been so close," Omene said. "The only thing holding me back ever has been finances. So just being able to launch me into that next level would honestly change my life."
Click here to learn more about Ese Omene's crowdfunding campaign.