Calgary Terry Fox Run surpasses fund-raising goal

Runners in Calgary’s annual Terry Fox Run begin their run at Fort Calgary on Sept. 15, 2019. (Photo by Joel Fournier/The Press)

On Sept. 15, Calgary held its 38th annual Terry Fox Run at Fort Calgary to raise money for cancer research.

Since Terry Fox’s original Marathon of Hope came to an end on Sept. 1 1980, annual charity runs have been held across Canada, and in many other countries, to raise funds in order to contribute to cancer research efforts in honour of his legacy.

“He was one of the greatest Canadians,” said Don Cowie who has been running in the Terry Fox for 36 years.

Cowie, who has fought the same cancer that Fox had, said, “he accomplished so much in such a short time, you can only think of what he might have accomplished if he was here longer.”

Terry Fox was a Canadian athlete who, after being diagnosed with bone cancer, began a run across Canada, in order to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.

He began his run in St. John’s, N.L. and ran across Canada until being forced to stop outside Thunder Bay, Ont. due to his deteriorating health.

The Terry Fox Foundation, the organization that stages the annual event, places a lot of emphasis on the legacy of Terry Fox.

“He touched on what it meant to be Canadian,” said Rob Kerr who led the opening ceremonies at the event.

Another cancer survivor, Samantha Andrews, said, “It’s up to us to keep up the legacy (of the Marathon of Hope) until a cure is found.”

According to the Terry Fox Foundation, more than $750 million has been raised by the many Terry Fox Runs that have occurred since the event first started.

According to Nicole Squires, the committee chair for Calgary’s run this year, $4.1 million has been raised in Calgary’s runs since 1981.

According to the foundation’s website, $231,883 has been raised this year alone from the Calgary run, surpassing the event’s goal of $200,000.

Approximately 3.5 million people will participate in a Terry Fox Run in Canada this year.

Cowie said that a lot of people participate in Calgary’s run every year, although attendance has leveled off in recent years.

Addressing the runners at Sunday’s event, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, spoke of the importance of the yearly event in fostering community, not only in Calgary but across the country.

“You’re here for someone, who in days, weeks, months, or years from now will be sitting in a doctor’s office, and will receive a terrifying diagnosis,” said Nenshi.

He spoke about how Terry Fox’s legacy unites people in communities across Canada, and how that sense of unity gives hope in the fight against cancer.

Don Cowie, a cancer survivor who has participated in Calgary’s Terry Fox Run for 36 years, at Fort Calgary on Sept. 15. (Photo by Joel Fournier/The Press)