Room for all in Marathon of Hope

Everyone can run, walk or roll this Sun­day to raise money for can­cer re­search

Penticton Herald - - LIVING - By JOE FRIES

Don’t let the name fool you: Terry Fox runs aren’t just for those who are fleet of foot. “The routes are suit­able for bikes, wheel­chairs, scoot­ers, strollers, Rollerblades — and dogs on leash are al­ways wel­come,” said Heather Cooke, who’s or­ga­niz­ing Sun­day’s event in Summerland.

The com­mu­nity is one of hun­dreds across Canada — in­clud­ing two oth­ers in the South Okana­gan — to host such an event to raise money for the Terry Fox Foun­da­tion, which in turn funds can­cer re­search.

Par­tic­i­pants are en­cour­aged to make, or col­lect, dona­tions in or­der to par­tic­i­pate, but it’s not re­quired.

“In Terry’s words: ‘If you’ve given $1, you’re part of the Marathon of Hope,’” said Cooke.

This marks the 37th year of Terry Fox runs and the fourth con­sec­u­tive year Cooke and her hus­band, Mike, have or­ga­nized the Summerland event in mem­ory of her fa­ther-in-law, who died of pan­cre­atic can­cer.

Their mis­sion took on greater ur­gency this sum­mer with the re­lease of fresh statis­tics from the Cana­dian Can­cer So­ci­ety that show one out of ev­ery two peo­ple in this coun­try will de­velop some form of the disease, while one in four will die be­cause of it.

“So, in that sense, all of us are likely to have been touched by can­cer, and this is the day that many of us — like my hus­band and I — take part to hon­our loved ones who have had a can­cer jour­ney and want to make a dif­fer­ence,” Cooke said.

Reg­is­tra­tion be­gins at 10:15 a.m. at the Summerland Aquatic Cen­tre, fol­lowed by the runs — or walks or scooter rides or what­ever — at 11 a.m.

Par­tic­i­pants can choose from three dis­tances: one, three or five kilo­me­tres.

The one-kilo­me­tre route will be led by mem­bers of the Summerland Steam, Orca Swim Club and res­i­dents of the Summerland Se­niors Vil­lage.

The real VIPs, how­ever, will be wear­ing red shirts to sig­nify they’re mem­bers of Terry’s Team and have ei­ther beaten can­cer or are cur­rently bat­tling the disease.

“They’re re­ally the liv­ing proof that can­cer re­search saves lives, and they’re tan­gi­ble ev­i­dence that what we’re do­ing makes a dif­fer­ence,” Cooke said.

If you can’t at­tend Sun­day but would still like to do­nate, you can do so by vis­it­ing www.ter­ry­ or tex­ting “ter­ry­fox” to 45678 to give $5 on your next phone bill.

Reg­is­tra­tion for the run in Pen­tic­ton be­gins at 10 a.m. at the SS Si­ca­mous. In Oliver, the sign-up starts at 1 p.m. in Lion’s Park.

Fox grew up in Port Co­quit­lam and was just 18 years old when part of his right leg was am­pu­tated due to can­cer.

Three years later, he set out from St. John’s, N.L., en route to his home prov­ince with a plan to run the equiv­a­lent of a marathon each day in or­der to raise money for can­cer re­search.

After log­ging 5,373 kilo­me­tres, he was forced to quit near Thun­der Bay, Ont., when the can­cer spread to his lungs. He died in 1981 at the age of 22.

Since then, runs have been or­ga­nized an­nu­ally across the globe to con­tinue his Marathon of Hope.

Schools are set to do their own Terry Fox runs on Sept. 28.

CON­TRIB­UTED/Terry Fox Foun­da­tion

Terry Fox runs along the highway in 1980 dur­ing his Marathon of Hope, which will con­tinue Sun­day with runs in hun­dreds of com­mu­ni­ties across Canada.

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