Fox on the run again in Kamloops
More than 30 years after the run named after him began, Terry Fox’s legacy is still holding strong.
The 32nd annual Terry Fox Run takes place in Kamloops on Sunday, Sept. 16, and organizer April Buder is expecting plenty of young children and families in the 400-strong crowd that typically comes out for the event.
“That keeps the whole legacy going,” she said.
“Because we’re going to rely on those younger people to keep it going down the road — unless, of course, we do find that cure for cancer.”
Though Fox, who lost a leg to cancer, embarked on his cross-country run to raise money for cancer research well before the run’s youngest participants were born, Buder said most of the kids she meets are aware of his story.
“The schools do a phenomenal job at the elementary level of teaching about the legacy of Terry Fox and what he’s done for cancer research,” she said.
“It was amazing.
“We were set up at the mall on the weekend and even the young ones, they already know.”
In Kamloops, the run raises between $15,000 and $18,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation, which funds cure-oriented cancer research nationally and internationally.
This year, Buder said, she’s hoping to see participants push that number higher.
“A lot of what we receive is personal donations at the site.
“We don’t get a lot of people taking the pledge forms and collecting donations beforehand,” she said.
“So, if we could just get one extra donation from everyone, our numbers would grow tremendously.”
The run’s starting point is also on the move this year, to the Rotary Bandshell in Riverside Park, though most of the route will remain the same as in previous years.
Participants have the option of running a 3.5-, 7- or 10.5-kilometre route.
While the run is open to cyclists, inline skaters and wheelchair users, dogs are not allowed on the route.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. on the morning of the event, with the run itself beginning at 10 a.m.
A by-donation pancake breakfast precedes the run and Buder said face painting, balloons and musical entertainment will also be on offer.
THE TERRY FOX LEGACY:
July 28, 1958: Terrance Stanley Fox is born in Winnipeg.
March 9, 1977: Terry discovers he has a malignant tumour in his right leg. The leg is amputated 15 centimetres (six inches) above the knee. The night before his amputation, he reads about an amputee runner and dreams of running.
February 1979: Terry begins training for his Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research and awareness. During training, he runs over 5,000 kilometres (3,107 miles).
April 12, 1980: In St John’s, Terry dips his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean and begins his odyssey. He runs an average of 42 kilometres (26 miles) a day through six provinces.
Sept. 1, 1980: After 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles), Terry stops running outside of Thunder Bay as his primary cancer has spread to his lungs. Before returning to B.C. for treatment, Terry says, “I’m gonna do my very best. I’ll fight. I promise I won’t give up.”
Sept. 2, 1980: Isadore Sharp, chairman and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, telegrams the Fox family with a commitment to organize a fundraising run that will be held every year in Terry’s name. He writes: “You started it. We will not rest until your dream to find a cure for cancer is realized.”
Sept. 18, 1980: Terry Fox becomes the youngest Companion of the Order of Canada in a special ceremony in his hometown of Port Coquitlam.
Oct. 21, 1980: Terry Fox is awarded British Columbia’s highest civilian award — the Order of the Dogwood.
Nov. 22, 1980: The American Cancer Society presents Terry with their highest award — the Sword of Hope.
Dec. 18, 1980: Canadian sports editors vote Terry Fox the Lou Marsh Award for outstanding athletic accomplishment.
Dec. 23, 1980: Editors of Canadian Press member newspapers and the radio and television stations serviced by Broadcast News name Terry Fox Canadian of the Year. Terry receives this honour again in 1981 after his death in June.
Feb. 1, 1981: Terry’s hope of raising $1 from every Canadian to fight cancer is realized. The national population reaches 24.1 million; the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope fund totals $24.17 million.
June 28, 1981: After treatment with chemotherapy and interferon, Terry Fox dies at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster — one month short of his 23rd birthday.