Inspired by Dick Traum, the first amputee to complete the New York City Marathon, a young man called Terry Fox set out from St. John’s, N.L. on April 12, 1980. He planned on completing his journey in Victoria.
Fox’s run across Canada, known as the Marathon of Hope, was an effort to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Fox himself, had his right leg amputated after a battle with osteosarcoma, a cancerous tumour in a bone, usually found around the knee and the most common form of bone cancer.
Unfortunately, the Marathon of Hope ended prematurely in September of 1980 outside of Thunder Bay due to his health. Fox died at the age of 22 on June 28, 1981, in New Westminster after the disease continued to spread, but his legacy lives on throughout Canada and the world with the Terry Fox Run and the Terry Fox Foundation.
“Thanks to organizations such as the Terry Fox Foundation, we are making a difference,” said Shannon Sund, the organizer of the run in 100 Mile House. “I believe in the Terry Fox Foundation as they focus on research and with that, advances in treatment and cures cannot be made.”
The run in 100 Mile House, which began in the mid 80’s, will begin and end in Centennial Park on Sept. 16. The route takes runners out of the park towards Birch Avenue, up to Horse Lake Road and down to the marsh and back up heading towards the 100 Mile Campground. From the campground, runners will use the park trail to get back to the park.
In total, the run is just under five kilometres.
Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the run will start at 10.
“There is no minimum donation required and people are welcome to come to join and honour Terry Fox, show support for loved ones that are currently battling [cancer] or those in memory of those who have passed,” said Sund, who has been organizing the run since 2013 and is also a cancer survivor.
“I was diagnosed with two forms of cancer in the falls of 2011 and underwent treatment for two and a half years,” said Sund. “I can’t run with the group being the organizer but I always do my own run after it is over, which is very therapeutic for me. It can be a very emotional day for many people, including myself.”
For every dollar donated, $.82 is put towards cancer research. The Terry Fox Run is the world’s largest fundraiser and as of January 2018, has raised $700 million (CAD), as per the Terry Fox Foundation.
“Almost every person has been or will be, affected by cancer and my goal is for us to come together and give back to the next person or family afflicted,” said Sund.