Every single dollar raised by Terry Fox runs across Canada make a difference in the fight against cancer.
For the 39th consecutive year Amherst will host its Terry Fox Run on Sunday, Sept. 15 with registration at Dickey Park at 9 a.m. and the event beginning at 10 a.m. with both a five-kilometre and 10-kilometre run and walk.
“It’s important to keep Terry’s memory alive, to continue the work he started for cancer research, it’s a great community event and a great community-building event,” said Amherst run chairperson Monique Sullivan. “People will sometimes come to registration and say ‘it’s not very much’ or ‘I don’t have a lot to a lot to give this year’ but Terry’s dream was to raise a dollar for every Canadian and if we do that it’s a huge amount of money.”
Sullivan said participants can walk or run on the walking track at Dickey Park or through Amherst, starting at the park and going over to Willow Street, down to Victoria, turning left and going to Church Street and then to East Pleasant Street and ending at the park.
One trip through the route is five kilometres, twice is 10.
“Every year participation has been holding steady or growing,” said Sullivan, who remembers the first Terry Fox Run when she was living in Trenton, Ont. in 1981. “We’ve been fortunate from the very first run to have a lot of people take part and we have some who have taken part in every run since the beginning.
“One of my favourite things about being a run organizer is talking to people and hearing their stories and the runs they’ve been to. Occasionally I meet someone who met Terry when he was through this area or have met members of his family. I think it makes a difference in people’s lives because it honours the Marathon of Hope that Terry did and it gives people hope.”
Sullivan remembers watching the news on TV when Fox had to stop his run near Thunder Bay, Ont. on Sept. 1, 1980. He died June 28, 1981 and the first Terry Fox Run was held that September.
It’s also hard to find someone who hasn’t been touched by cancer through a family member or friend. Sullivan said no one in her direct family has been affected, but she relatives that have fought cancer.
Last year’s event raised approximately $8,000 and the run traditionally has about 100 participants.
“I told everyone last year to bring a friend this year,” she said. “We’ve also had tremendous support from the Amherst Striders and the Amherst Ramblers, who take part in the run as well.”
The money raised goes to the Terry Fox Foundation and is used for cancer research. That research, she said, has made a difference in gains made against the disease.
“The type of cancer Terry had in his leg is treatable now, in no small part to the research funded in part through the Terry Fox Foundation. The money raised at these events is making a huge difference.”