It has been 33 years since Terry Fox ran his heroic Marathon of Hope.
Fox said, “Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me.”
By Feb. 1, 1981, his dream of raising $1 for every Canadian was realized when the fund totalled $24.17 million.
He died in June 1981.
Here in Summerland, we are working to fulfill Fox’s wish to continue contributing to cancer research. Summerland held its first run in 1986.
The last three years have set progressively higher records with 143, 162, and 212 participants respectively.
Summerland has raised almost $50,000.
It is estimated that in 2013 more than 187,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer and more than 75,000 people will die from it.
On average, 500 Canadians will be diagnosed with one of more than 200 forms of cancer every day, and more than 200 will die from it every day.
About two in five Canadians will develop cancer and one in four will die from it.
So the battle against cancer must carry on.
There are numerous organizations working hard to raise funds for research.
The Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $600 million world-wide since 1980.
In 2012 alone, the foundation invested almost $30 million in three key areas of cancer research.
The Canada-wide Terry Fox Run is Sunday, Sept. 15.
Summerland’s run starts at 10 a.m. with registration at the Aquatic Centre. The run/walk starts at 11 a.m. on Kelly Avenue and finishes at the same site.
Everyone is encouraged to participate, so organizers have three routes of five kilometres, three kilometres and one kilometre, allowing for various levels of physical ability.
The one-kilometre walk will be led by the Summerland Orca Swim Club. Snacks will be served following the run.
The five-kilometre and three-kilometre events are suitable for bikes, wheelchairs, scooters, strollers and rollerblades. The one-kilometre walk is not suitable for bikes or rollerblades.
Dogs on leash are welcome.
Participants can enjoy a free swim or soak in the hot tub at the Aquatic Centre during the public swim from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
In Canada, about 8,700 schools hold their own runs.
National School Run Day is Thursday, Sept. 26, but some schools set different dates for their events.
In Summerland, four schools are planning runs: Giants Head Elementary School, Summerland Middle School, Summerland Montessori School, and Trout Creek Elementary School.
At Terry Fox events, the emphasis is on participation.
There is no run fee and no minimum donation.
In Fox’s words … “If you’ve given a dollar, you’re part of the Marathon of Hope”.
Pledge forms are available at the Aquatic Centre and other downtown locations, but are not required.
Participants can register on-site with a donation, then participate. Come out and enjoy while contributing to an important cause and to Summerland spirit. A large poster will be available for participants to indicate who they are running for.
Cancer survivors are invited to join Terry’s Team.
These people are recognized by their special red T-shirts, provided free by The Foundation. Summerland has a small, but growing group of members of Terry’s Team.
Another way to participate is to form a team. These can be dedication teams, workplace teams, family teams, running clubs, and other teams. Plus teams can challenge other teams in the good spirit of the cause.
“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.” … Terry Fox.
For more details and for online fund-raising options, visit www.terryfox.org or call 1-888-836-9786.
For local information, call Keith at 250-809-7648 or email KeithJohnson@shaw.ca.