Terry Fox began the Marathon of Hope 35 years ago, and the City of Trail is one of 112 communities across B.C. and Yukon that will participate in the Terry Fox Run this Sunday, and keep alive his quest to find a cure for cancer.
Fox was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma in his right leg in 1977, and had it amputated 15 centimetres above the knee. While undergoing treatment, he was so affected by the suffering of other cancer patients that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.
At the age of 22, Fox ran the equivalent of a marathon a day for 143 straight days before the spread of his own cancer stopped his journey.
“I’m not a dreamer, and I’m not saying this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to,” said Fox.
Since the New Westminster native embarked on his Marathon of Hope in 1980, more than $700 million has been raised worldwide to fund cancer research.
“The Terry Fox Foundation funds research in all kinds of cancer, believing as Terry did that we need to conquer this disease once and for all,” said Donna White, B.C. director for the Terry Fox Foundation.
This year’s Terry Fox run will again start at Gyro Park with registration at 9 a.m. and group start at 10 a.m. Participants are encouraged to show up early for the Trail Kiwanis Club’s pancake breakfast, and get in a warm up with Luana Martin and Trail Steps Company Dancers.
The Trail Smoke Eaters and Beaver Valley Nitehawks will also help out the cause with a tug-of-war against the kids, and the Teck Fire Fighters will look to get back in the win column against the Kootenay-Boundary Regional Fire Rescue who outpulled them in the tug-of-war last year.
The five-kilometre loop starts at Gyro Park and travels through Sunningdale, and participants can run, walk, rollerskate, or ride. The event is a non-competitive, all-inclusive, family oriented activity, as every participant is a special part of the cause and living proof that cancer research saves lives.
“Last year we had over 300 participants, so we’re hoping for better, because last year the teachers were still on strike, and a lot of people were still taking vacations,” said organizer Diane Langman. “So we’re hoping for more participants this year.”
Registration is by donation and there is no minimum pledge amount. Trail’s 2014 Terry Fox Run raised over $12,000.
If residents can’t make the event they can still support it by donating at terryfox.org or call 1-888-836-9786.