Two-time cancer survivor Eileen Shepherd is counting on Hope residents to take part in this weekend’s Terry Fox Run.
“Most of us know the Terry Fox story, and he remains in the hearts of all of us,” she says. “Most of us know someone who has had cancer, some of whom have succumbed to the dreaded disease.”
For those who don’t know, Terry Fox began the Marathon of Hope 31 years ago, dipping his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean at St. John’s, Newfoundland. That little dip in the water started his proposed run across Canada, a total of over 8,000 miles. His aim was to raise money for Cancer research, and he was hoping for $1 for each Canadian citizen.
Terry’s cancer returned 143 days into the run, while he was in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He had run about 3,000 miles. He died in September, 1981.
More than $500 million has already been raised in the name of Terry Fox, with much support from Fox’s mother Betty, who also passed away recently.
Now Shepherd, like others, is hoping that the fundraiser will continue.
While the run was eventually finished by another cancer amputee, Steve Fonyo, in Terry’s Fox’s honour, the run is held annually around the world. The run gives participants an opportunity to fundraise, while keeping Terry’s spirit alive.
In Hope, as in over 50 other cities in the world, the annual Terry Fox Run/ Walk will take place on Sunday, Sept. 18 at the Hope Recreation Centre at 9 a.m. People can run, walk, cycle, push a baby stroller or a walker and participate, doing any distance they can or want to. The official run is 5 km. Registration is at 8:30 a.m.
Participants can bring in donations or pledges, if they prefer. Pledge forms are not mandatory, and anyone can join in. Route maps will be provided at registration.