Near-zero temperatures weren’t enough to dissuade Thompsonites from turning out for the 37th-annual Terry Fox Run to support cancer research Sept. 16.
“It’s nice to see everyone coming out to support it even though it’s a little bit chillier out there today,” said organizer Josh Cain before participants set out for a one-kilometre family walk or the longer full route. “I like to think there was no weather that stopped Terry so alternatively there should be no weather here that stops us especially since we’re northerners.”
Terry Fox set out to raise money for cancer research after the disease resulted in the amputation of his right leg above the knee, said Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle, and he averaged a marathon distance of 42 kilometres a day for 143 days starting in Newfoundland before being forced to stop near Thunder Bay, Ontario by his cancer, which had spread to his lungs.
“His vision was a cure for cancer but his goal was a dollar for every Canadian,” said Bindle. “To date the Terry Fox Foundation has raised over $750 million in his name. The disease that he died from had a 15 per cent recovery rate at the time of his death. Today it’s at 75 per cent. We’re making progress, we’re keeping Terry Fox’s dream alive and that’s thanks to you.”
Churchill-Keewatinook Aski MP Niki Ashton highlighted the volunteer nature of the Terry Fox Run.
“The Terry Fox Run is especially unique,” she said. “It doesn’t have corporate sponsors. it’s 100 per cent volunteer-run and upwards of 80 cents on the dollar goes to cancer research which is what this is all about.”
Cain said the run wouldn’t be possible without the participants, donors and supporters.
“It is volunteer-driven and we rely solely on donations and volunteers and that’s just never been a problem up here and it’s another reason why I love Thompson,” he said, thanking those who joined him to keep Thompson’s run alive when the previous organizer left town last year. “Seeing these people join up with me here, it was a really relieving feeling. They do a lot of hard work so a big thank you to them.”
He also said that the man for whom the event is named provided lessons that extend beyond the fight against cancer.
“Terry Fox taught us a lot,” Cain said. “That the only limits in this world are the ones that we place on ourselves and I try to keep that with me on a daily basis so we’re here for hope today.”