Three decades have passed since Terry Fox ended his attempt to run across Canada, but his Marathon of Hope remains strong, now an annual event that millions take part in around the world each September.
This year’s Terry Fox Run, the 31st, is coming up this weekend on Sept. 18, starting out at the S.S. Sicamous on Lakeshore Drive. Registration gets underway at 10 a.m., with the actual run starting at noon.
Steve King, the voice of the Ironman, will be emceeing the events and Gillian Russell will not only be singing the national anthem, but also a song in honour of Betty Fox, who passed away recently after three decades of tirelessly keeping her son’s dream alive through her work with the Terry Fox Foundation.
Local organizer Katherine Lucier said they have a special event planned for seniors who want to participate, but not walk the full length of the route along the channel. In place of the Senior’s Mall Walk, which was held at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre, there will be the Rose Garden Senior Steps for Terry, which will be a walk around the Rose Garden starting right after the Channel run at noon.
The foundation wants to honour everyone who has ever battled cancer with a sea of red shirts, inviting cancer survivors to come out and celebrate the benefits of cancer research and awareness with a free red shirt and a place of honour as Terry’s Team members at the local run.
Thirty-one years ago, Fox showed the world not only the realities of cancer in exposing his artificial leg, but also a drive a determination not to let the disease hold him back.
Terry’s Team members uphold his legacy of strength, courage and generosity, proving that cancer survivors are ready and willing to continue where Fox left off.
“The fact is that if Terry were diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma today, instead of being given a 30-per-cent chance to live, he would be looking at a 90-per-cent survival rate,” said Donna White, provincial director of the Terry Fox Foundation and a cancer survivor. “What’s wonderful about his legacy is that it’s not just about the type of cancer Terry had, or cancers affecting youth, or men or women. The foundation funds research in to all kinds of cancer, believing as Terry did, that we need to conquer this disease once and for all for everybody.”
Some, like Anna Solnikova, a two-time cancer survivor, point to Fox as being the reason they are alive today. Solnikova, like Fox, was diagnosed at 17 with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer), the same type Fox battled. But however similar her diagnosis is to Fox’s, with advances made in research funded by the foundation, Solnikova was able to keep her leg and her life, something she attributes directly to Fox and the sacrifice he made 31 years ago.
Visit www.TerryFox.org for all the details and to get your pledge forms.