For 31 years Terry Fox Runs have been held all over the world to commemorate Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research.
The tradition carries on in Elmira with its annual Terry Fox Run to be held on Sept. 18.
Last year, the event saw 47 participants and volunteers and raised $12,522 for cancer research through pledges.
This year, registration begins at noon next Sunday on the front lawns of Program Insurance Brokers, where participants will find raffle tables and a barbecue set up. The run begins at 1 p.m. and is a 10-kilometre walk, run or ride along South Field Drive and New Jerusalem Road.
The run is volunteer-driven, and has no entry fee and no minimum pledge.
For event organizer Kathy Bowman, the run is quite personal as her family has been affected by cancer in many different ways.
“Personally, my family has lost too many aunts and uncles, and we have cousins that are fighting cancer,” she said. “The disease has touched our lives in so many ways it just not funny. We have lost relatives and we have had relatives and friends that are battling and winning their battles.”
Bowman took over this year from longtime organizer Judy Bieman and has spent months preparing for the event, making sure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes.
“I have known (Beimen) for a very long time and it has been a privilege to have worked along side her for the last few years,” she said. “I am running solo this year but I know everything will work out as it always has.”
The first Terry Fox Run was held on Sept. 13 1981, and now sees more than three million people in some 60 countries taking part.
It’s the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research, and has raised more than $500 million in Fox’s name.
Having his right leg amputated at the age of 18 due to bone cancer, Fox started his cross-country Marathon of Hope in St. John’s on Apr. 12, 1980 to raise money for cancer patients and research. His run lasted 143 days and 5,373 kilometres before the return of cancer, this time to his lungs, forced him to stop outside of Thunder Bay on Sept. 1, 1980. Fox died on June 28, 1981 at the age of 22. The first Terry Fox Run was held later that year.
Bowman said anyone can do the run, all it takes is a little commitment.
“We are not all millionaires and we can’t donate all our money but we do have time and we can donate our time to something we believe in,” said Bowman. “I truly do believe in the research that the Terry Fox Foundation does and I know so many others out there do to.”