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Canadian hero set precedent

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | August 31st, 2009



Canadians run with hopes of finding a cure

“I'm not a dreamer, and I'm not saying this will initiate any kind of definite answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to,” said Terrance Stanley Fox before embarking on a heart wrenching journey across Canada nearly three decades ago.

When 21-year-old Fox began his Marathon of Hope in 1980 no one imagined what precedent the young Fox would be setting for generations to come.

“In 1988, the Terry Fox Foundation was created. Since Terry's Run in 1980, well over $400 Million has been raised...Terry lost his battle with cancer, but because of our volunteers...his legacy lives on,” said Judith Fox-Alder, Fox' only sister and International Director for the Terry Fox Foundation based in Chilliwack, British Columbia.

“Because of them (volunteers) others will survive this disease in the future.”

(Terry's) vision was one of belief that one-day our nation would be free of cancer ailments, added Fox-Alder.

The Marathon of Hope is not only a legacy for Fox but for all who have lost loved ones to cancer.

“The Marathon of Hope is very important and it is extremely important we continue this tradition... (Terry's) mission,” said Kim Smith, an Ontario Community Events Coordinator for the Terry Fox Foundation based in Toronto.

The non-profit organization to date has risen close to $400 Million for cancer research.

Smith remains optimistic about the future of cancer research across the globe.

“Treatments are better, better than they were some 20-years ago,” said Smith.

Adding people all over the world are making remarkable triumphs when dealing with a vicious disease that claims lives in vast numbers annually.

Today the Marathon of Hope is respected internationally and welcomed by every nation.

The run is expected to take place in London on Sunday, September 13 at Springbank Gardens. Registration begins at 8 am.

It is crucial for families everywhere to take part in Canadian history that a local hero started merely 20-years back, mentioned Smith.

People everywhere do the run to “honour a great Canadian hero...a young man who has the ability to capture the hearts of many Canadians,” Smith said.

According to Smith, in Ontario alone there are approximately 4,000 schools that join in Canadian history annually to celebrate a Canadian hero who has set a precedent for generations after he left us.

“Schools are a major part of the foundation,” said Smith.

Lucia Pelisek, a soon to be sixth grade student at Pine Grove Elementary can't wait to take part in the Marathon of Hope again come fall.

“I have been participating since I was in grade one,” said Pelisek about being part of the Marathon of Hope annual run.

“I like helping...him...Terry... by donating my time in order for money to be raised for cancer research.”

All over the globe people will gather on September 13 to not only raise awareness about finding cures for various cancers, but will gather to pay tribute to a local hero that started something extraordinary despite his circumstances.

Fox was one month short of his 23rd birthday before cancer claimed his life. His determination lives on today with the millions who share in his enthusiasm by participating in the Marathon of Hope.

“We are so happy to know that before Terry died, he knew that there would be a run in his honour. He knew that what he started would not be ended in his death, that as Canadians, we would come together, united in a cause that started with his unselfish quest,” said Fox-Alder.

London's Terry Fox Run is set for Sunday, September 13 and registration begins at 8 am to 2 pm.

Location: Springbank Gardens (Formerly Wonderland Gardens)

For more information about the Marathon of Hope and how you can help raise awareness toward a great cause visit www.terryfox.org

Happening that same weekend, on Saturday September 12, Superwalk for Parkinson's disease will take place in Springbank Park. Thousands will gather with hopes of raising $2.5 millon for being one step closer to finding a cure for the disease.

Parkinson's Disease makes ordinary tasks such as walking or eating extremely difficult for someone who has the disease. The disease is a slow, progressive, neurological disorder.

The most common symptoms are tremors or shaking, slowness in movements, muscle stiffness and having problems balancing.

For more information regarding the Superwalk in Springbank Park or to register please visit www.superwalk.com, call 1888. 851-7376 or send an email to info@parkinsonsociety.ca
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