Mak­ing it per­sonal

Ber­wick Terry Fox Run par­tic­i­pants, vol­un­teer sup­port bat­tle against can­cer

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS - By KIRK Starratt Kingscountynews.ca BER­WICK, ns Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

The bat­tle against can­cer has been a per­sonal one for many par­tic­i­pants and vol­un­teers at the an­nual Terry Fox Run in Ber­wick.

About 30 peo­ple turned out to walk, run or bike in sup­port of can­cer re­search in the ap­ple cap­i­tal on Sept. 17, rais­ing $1,450.

Ber­wick re­cre­ation co-or­di­na­tor Carol Boy­lan-hartling said con­tin­u­ing to host the run is im­por­tant to the com­mu­nity be­cause Terry Fox cre­ated a legacy with his Marathon of Hope. What he started has done a lot in terms of sup­port­ing re­search ini­tia­tives.

“It’s im­por­tant that we keep it up and keep his mem­ory alive,” she said.

Boy­lan-hartling said the event car­ries spe­cial mean­ing for many par­tic­i­pants who are very ded­i­cated to the cause and come back ev­ery year. She was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer in De­cem­ber 2015 and said be­ing a sur­vivor makes it much more per­sonal for her.

“Be­cause of the re­search that’s been done I feel that maybe that’s why I was cured so I want to work hard to do that for other peo­ple,” Boy­lan-hartling said.

She said Ber­wick res­i­dents are very sup­port­ive of worth­while causes and many who don’t par­tic­i­pate in the run make do­na­tions or pro­vide spon­sor­ship to oth­ers.

Boy­lan-hartling said Eve­lyn Palmer of Ni­cholsville, a can­cer sur­vivor who used to work in the town’s re­cre­ation de­part­ment, comes back ev­ery year to help with the run. Boy­lan-hartling said this makes it “even more near and dear to us.”

Palmer said she was work­ing for the town when she re­ceived her can­cer di­ag­no­sis in July 1997. Palmer is thank­ful for money raised through ini­tia­tives such as the Terry Fox Run that have gone to sup­port re­search ef­forts. Be­cause of this, she had “the best hos­pi­tal care pos­si­ble” when she went through surgery, chemo­ther­apy and ra­di­a­tion treat­ments. Her doc­tor told her she did un­usu­ally well.

“I had col­orec­tal can­cer, stage three, and I said, ‘Well, I told you I wasn’t go­ing to die,’” Palmer said. “But I am ex­tremely thank­ful.”

She said it means a lot to see peo­ple turn out year af­ter year to sup­port the Terry Fox Run, es­pe­cially the one in Ber­wick.

Dana Pi­neo of Water­ville took part in the run with his son, An­drew Pi­neo, and his son’s friend, Josh Van Nos­trand of Ber­wick. Pi­neo said they had a fam­ily mem­ber who was di­ag­nosed with skin can­cer last year who made a full re­cov­ery.

It’s im­por­tant to them to help sup­port the cause be­cause more peo­ple tak­ing part in Terry Fox Runs means more money be­ing raised for re­search.

Pi­neo said Fox “re­ally started some­thing” with the Marathon of Hope. To see such a tremen­dous level of sup­port still be­ing demon­strated to­day il­lus­trates how much aware­ness Fox was able to bring to the bat­tle against can­cer and what can be ac­com­plished when ev­ery­one fights to­gether.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope or to make an on­line do­na­tion, visit www.ter­ry­fox.org.

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