Ten Questions About The Terry Fox Run
Decades before there was talk about Generations X, Y and Millennials a young man with one leg set out out on a mission to run across Canada and raise funds for cancer research. Each day he would run a full marathon despite weather conditions or personal suffering.
Although he never completed the run he inspired a nation to continue his journey. Since 1981 every year the Terry Fox Run is held in his memory to complete his dream of finding the cure for cancer and saving lives.
This year the run in Moose Jaw is being held this Sunday September 15th at 11:30 am (registration starts ay 10:30 am) at Elks Field 1600 Caribou West.
We caught up to local organizer Craig Hemingway to ask him 10 questions about the run and the legacy of Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope.
1. What is the Terry Fox Run all about?
The Terry Fox Run is an opportunity for Canadians to carry on the legacy of Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope. This year marks the 39th annual Terry Fox run, which raises funds for the Terry Fox Foundation so the in turn can support cancer research.
2. Who is Terry Fox?
Terry Fox is a Canadian hero. Born in Winnipeg in 1958 (his family would eventually move to the Vancouver area), he was diagnosed with cancer and had his right leg amputated below the knee in 1977. In April of 1980 he began his Marathon of Hope and ran an average of 42 kilometres (26 miles - the equivalent of a marathon) every day through six provinces before his health prevented him from being able to continue. The Marathon of Hope stopped September 1, 1980 outside of Thunder Bay, ON. Terry passed away June 28, 1981.
3. How did you become involved with the run?
I heard the Terry Fox Foundation may need an organizer for the Moose Jaw run, so I volunteered.
4. Where, when and what time is the run?
Elks Field is the location, 1600 Caribou St. West. Sunday, September 15. 10:30am registration, the Run starts at 11:30 with a free BBQ and other fun and games for all ages.
5. Although the run is this weekend can people still participate as runners, volunteers, donors or just cheering people on?
Absolutely. Anyone is welcome to sign up the day of the event. One of Terry's mottos was "give what you can" so there is no minimum donation required to participate. And, it's not a race. Walk, jog, run, bring your pet (just please pick up after them) - go at any pace you find enjoyable. Email TerryFoxrunMJ@gmail.com if you have any questions about the Run or about being a donor.
6. Is there any set goal of funds you are looking for?
No, I have not set a $$ goal this year.
7. How important is the public awareness the run creates when it comes to cancer prevention and treatment?
Vital - there are many facts about the Terry Fox Foundation's efforts I was not aware of until I became involved this year. Those stats reinforce my belief in the cause and the importance of continuing to fund cancer research.
8. When was the first time you ever heard of Terry Fox and his run?
I remember seeing the news stories about Terry during his Marathon of Hope and I remember the first Terry Fox Run that took place at my elementary school in Holdfast, SK. There was even a song out at the time called "Run Terry Run".
9. How do you respond to the statement that the survival rates for type of cancer Terry Fox had have increased partially due to funds raised by the Terry Fox Run?
Whether it's the Terry Fox Run or any other event that raises money to fight cancer, I think all anyone wants is to believe that their efforts and/or donations have made a difference. When you read about the impact of research the Terry Fox Foundation has supported it's both gratifying and exciting. It truly makes you believe that we will see more breakthroughs and maybe, just maybe, a cure in our lifetime.
10. Do you have anything else to add?
There are a number of family members, friends and coworkers that have stepped up to volunteer so I want to make sure to thank them. Additionally, donors like Moose Jaw Coop, Golden West and Bobby's Place have been incredibly generous in their support. There is a wealth of information on Terry Fox and the work of the Foundation on the website - www.TerryFox.org. You can also register for the Run while you're there. Thanks for your support.