It’s been 30 years since Terry Fox took the first steps in his Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research. Tomorrow (Sunday), the tradition continues with Elmira’s annual Terry Fox Run.
Last year, the event saw 45 participants raise $13,520 for cancer research through pledges and a penny raffle, the most money raised per runner in the entire province.
“We may not have a lot of runners that come out, but we sure make up with the amount of donations,” said Kathy Bowman, who has been a Terry Fox Run organizer since 1998. “With the help of the penny raffle, it really put us up over the top and we beat out Toronto and other bigger city centers.”
Registration starts at noon on Sunday at 49 Industrial Dr., with the run commencing at 1 p.m. It is a 10-kilometre walk, run, or ride along South Field Drive and New Jerusalem Road – “a nice area, very pretty.”
This years run has added importance for Bowman and her husband and four children, after watching a cousin win her second battle with cancer earlier in the year.
The first Terry Fox Run was on Sept. 13 1981, and has grown into an international event, with more than three million people in some 60 countries taking part. It is also the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research, with more than $500 million raised in Fox’s name.
Determined to raise money for cancer patients after having his right leg amputated at the age of 18 due to bone cancer, he started his cross-country Marathon of Hope in St. John’s on Apr. 12, 1980.
The run is volunteer-driven, and has no entry fee and no minimum pledge.
“We want to see everybody come out this year,” said Bowman. “It doesn’t matter if you collect a million dollars in pledges, $50, or $5. [Elmira] is a small town with a big heart.”