Terry Fox is remembered as a rare individual who always looked to accomplish the impossible.
Although he was unable to complete his journey physically, what Fox did accomplish was to leave an international legacy that not only gave people that hope, but in many cases since then, a cure.
For Bill Palmer, taking on the task of organizing Penticton’s annual Terry Fox Run fundraiser was in memory of another young man who died of cancer, his son Doug.
Diagnosed with multiple myeloma at age 26, Doug died five years later in September 2005.
Watching his son and others around him, including children, undergo treatment, changed the father’s outlook on life and was what eventually motivated him to become an organizer.
“I thought this would be my chance to give back. I wanted to help with whatever could be done so maybe it will help someone else in the future that went through what Doug went through,” said Palmer.
“Since the Terry Fox Foundation is all about research I thought this would be a good opportunity to do that.”
Now, after the last two years, Palmer has decided to hand over the reigns to someone else.
He and the foundation are hoping to find a successor prior to this year’s 33rd Terry Fox Run on Sept. 15.
Having someone in place by then would allow the new person to get first-hand knowledge of what is involved in the job.
“What we’re looking for is someone who likes working with people and that has the ideals that Terry set out,” said Palmer.
“Someone to raise money for cancer research in a way that the whole community can get involved with and keep it motivated.”
The organizer’s duties include scheduling meetings, route details, volunteer recruitment and fundraising work.
Preparations usually begins in May. Palmer would like to introduce his replacement to the community at this year’s run and have the person speak to participants prior to the start.
“It might even be nice to have somebody who is a cancer survivor and can speak on the benefits of research,” he said.
“Because of this research, now there is a very good chance he (Terry Fox) would not even have lost his leg, let alone go further than that.”
Asked about what he is taking away from his experience as the event organizer, Palmer replied: “Just the people I’ve met and the ability to work on Terry’s team.
“It’s also the feeling of satisfaction that maybe I helped in the long term.
“I only wished I could have done more but I hoped that I did the best I could do.”
Registration for this year’s run takes place Sept. 15 at the SS Sicamous.
Registration is at 11 a.m. and the run begins at noon.
An information and pledge table will be set up at Saturday’s downtown farmers market and at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre, Sept. 9-14. Anyone who is interested in the volunteer organizer’s position or helping out with any aspect of the run can contact Palmer at 778-476-0885.