With low temperatures making it feel more like fall than it had for the past few years, Thompson’s Terry Fox Run had fewer runners and raised less money than in the past few years, but 75 participants still managed to fundraise more than $2,400 for cancer research on Sept. 16, said organizer Tracey Williams.
“Last year we had 119 participants and raised $4,900, so we had a lower year, I believe due to weather,” said Williams. “It was still an awesome day.”
The number of participants and the amount of money raised locally were the lowest since 2009.
“I had an amazing group of volunteers who braved the cold and made the event the success that it was,” said Williams, thanking Safeway and Robin’s Donuts for donating drinks and snacks for the participants, whose number included the entire roster of the Norman Northstars hockey team, who took part as they have for the past several years.
Coun. Erin Hogan, representing the mayor and city council, kicked off the run by telling the participants that they were proof that one person can make a difference.
“I think that Terry Fox’s dream is alive today really shows that the actions of one individual can have a profound effect on so many people,” said Hogan, who kept her speech short, taking note of the weather the waiting participants had to endure. “I can see shivers in the back.”
Born in Winnipeg, Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 18, resulting in the amputation of his lower right leg. While recovering in hospital, he came up with the idea for his Marathon of Hope, in which he would run across the country – covering a distance equivalent to a marathon every day – to raise money and awareness. He started in St. John’s on April 12, 1980 and made it as far as Thunder by Sept. 1, when he was forced to stop because his cancer had spread to his lungs. Later that month, the first Terry Fox Run was held, with 300,000 Canadians raising $3.5 million. The run has since expanded globally, with nearly $500 million raised to date.