McCurrach family takes on challenge of organizing Terry Fox Run in Kamloops

The annual event will be held on Sunday, Sept. 16, in Riverside Park

A Kamloops family has taken the helm of the Terry Fox Run — and the youngest member is setting a strong pace.

With four days until the Sunday, Sept. 16, event, 14-year-old Lauren McCurrach has raised $12,000 to support innovative cancer research.

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The Terry Fox Run is held across the country each year in honour of the one-legged Canadian hero who died from cancer nearly four decades ago. Terry Fox died before completing a cross-Canada trek he initiated to raise money for cancer research. Today, 82 cents from every dollar donated to the Terry Fox Foundation goes toward researching ways to combat the numerous forms of the disease.

The McCurrach family knows the value of such research. Dad Richard was diagnosed in 2016 with peripheral nerve sheath cancer — a rare form — and benefitted from advanced radiation therapy overseas.

“He has been the benefactor of pretty amazing cancer research and we just thought it was something we had to do,” Andrea said of the family deciding to organize the Kamloops run. “We believe that research is the way to end cancer.”

Event planning is new to the McCurrachs. They don’t have goals for participant numbers nor an amount of money they would like to see raised in their first year. But they have been impressed with the generosity from the community leading up to an event that relies on volunteers and has no corporate sponsors.

The family plans to organize the event for the foreseeable future — Lauren hopes to raise $50,000 over the next five years — and continue the legacy of Terry Fox.

Fox set high standards for himself, Lauren said, noting the Port Coquitlam resident was in his early 20s when he decided to run a marathon a day in The Marathon of Hope in 1980.

Andrea referred to Fox’s humble and selfless nature, noting he did not want his run to be about him, but about the cause.

“The most important thing to him was to find a cure for cancer,” she said.

No minimum donation is required to attend the Terry Fox Run at Riverside Park.

Registration will take place on Sunday at 9 a.m., followed by the opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Participants are encouraged to walk, run, bike or even skip along a non-competitive one-kilometre loop in the park.

Five- and 10-kilometre routes along the Rivers Trail will also be offered, with snacks and a silent auction to follow. While drop-in registrations are welcome, Andrea encouraged online registration in advance to skip the lineup. Register online at https://fundraise.terryfox.org.

Those wishing to take part are asked to meet at the Rotary Bandshell.

No dogs will be allowed on the run.

© 2018 Kamloops This Week

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