38th annual Terry Fox Run a big success, $18,260 raised

September 24, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

The Orangeville-area Terry Fox Run was held at the Island Lake Conservation Area this past Sunday (Sept. 16), raising $18,260 and counting, with over 150 people walking or running on the conservation area’s 10 trails.

It’s a day that brings people together, when families and communities join to raise money and awareness for cancer research.

Terry Fox was 18 years old when a cancerous tumour forced the amputation of his right leg. In 1980, he began his Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run across Canada to raise funds for cancer research.

He began his trek in St. John’s Newfoundland, running the equivalent of a full marathon a day (42 kilometres). He ran a total of 5,373 kilometres in 143 days, before the cancer spread to his lungs, forcing him to stop outside Thunder Bay. He eventually succumbed to the cancer, and died June 28, 1981.

Although Terry wasn’t able to complete his run, his efforts turned into a lasting, worldwide legacy, resulting in over $750 million being raised for cancer research and treatment.

Now every year, hundreds of thousands of Canadians from all walks of life, and countries worldwide unite for the Terry Fox Run.

At Island Lake, various residents, young and old, ran or walked the five- or 10-kilometre routes, enjoying the beautiful weather.

Mark Whitcombe, one of the walk’s organizers, told the Citizen the walk helps bring people together, and raise awareness and money for cancer research, describing Terry as a “remarkable spirit,” but what he did though was very simply for a cause that affects everyone.

He attributes the run to funding research into his non-aggressive form of prostate cancer, which was diagnosed several years ago.

Mr. Whitcombe recalled seeing the monuments in St. John’s where Terry began, in Thunder Bay where he stopped, and Victoria, British Columbia, where he was supposed to finish. In particular, he remembered seeing a lady at the St. John’s monument, who was visibly saddened seeing it. “She was one of the nurses who looked after Terry when he got to Thunder Bay. She was there when that happened.”

He added that he knows family and friends who have been diagnosed with cancer, and, “Through the run, we have come to know a lot of other people as well.”

David Kirk has been participating in the run since it began, and this year, raised $4,366. “That’s the most money I’ve raised in any given year,” he told the Citizen.

He added that Terry would be amazed and pleased with how much money has been raised in 38 years, and the amount of involvement with participants, and the development of the Terry Fox Foundation.

“It’s just an absolutely wonderful organization, with so many different ways to donate.”

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.