After two years of pandemic-related setbacks and precautions, the annual Terry Fox Run kicked off at Chestermere High School on Monday, Sept. 19.
The run honoured Fox — who died of cancer in 1980 after attempting to run across Canada — and raised money for cancer research.
Despite the frigid cold and rain, many staff and students were thrilled to run in support of Fox and their own loved ones affected by the disease.
Jordis Dingwall, a Grade 11 student, ran for her grandma, who has survived several bouts of cancer.
“My Grandma is a very special person to me,” Dingwall said. “She keeps me going every day. She’s the person I aspire to be one day.”
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, roughly two out of five Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. With this disease affecting many Canadians, it’s important for those affected to speak up and share their stories to inspire and help others.
“I think it’s very important for young people and other people to realize what the fundraiser does to help people,” said Dingwall.
Hana Martin, a Grade 10 teacher, organized the annual Terry Fox Run for the fifth year in a row.
“I’m running for my buddy who has a brain tumour, and he was supposed to only make it ’till February of 2022,” said Martin, “But he’s still alive now.”
Hana’s friend Luke was diagnosed with cancer.
“For him to be newly married with a new baby and to be given only 14 months to live is devastating,” she said.
Chestermere High School leadership students, who were not participating in the run, orchestrated a treat fundraiser, supplying cookies and freezies for participants finishing the run. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to Canadian cancer research initiatives.
Ravjet Gill, a Grade 12 student at CHS bought a blue freezie to support the cause. Gill and his family have been through their own hardships, since Gill’s grandfather suffered from prostate cancer.
“He essentially raised me until I was 12-ish until the cancer got worse,” Gill stated, “He used to drive me to all my soccer practices, games, or any kind of sport I played. He was always the one there to support me.”
After the race while students were warming up, Dingwall spoke about the importance of participating, donating, and supporting the Terry Fox Run.
“I want other people to know that cancer affects everybody even if you’re not the one that has it,” she said, ”So I believe that everyone should donate, and if you’re not able to donate, please run.”