Terry Fox in­spired a na­tion

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

Maureen Robin­son of Har­bour Grace has been in­volved in or­ga­niz­ing the Marathon of Hope for years.

Robin­son said par­tic­i­pants from all over the CBN area would be more than wel­come to come to St. Fran­cis Field Sun­day to take part in the event and help out with this wor­thy cause.

“The whole em­pha­sis is on in­di­vid­ual ef­fort,” Robin­son told The Com­pass last week. While the max­i­mum length of the walk/run is 10 kilo­me­tres, she stressed, “how far they wish to go is left up to in­di­vid­ual par­tic­i­pants.” She also noted, “there are no min­i­mum pledges, no en­try fees and no cor­po­rate spon­sor­ships for the non-com­pet­i­tive event.”

As Terry Fox him­self once said: “If you give one dol­lar, you are part of the Marathon of Hope.”

Reg­is­tra­tion

Reg­is­tra­tion will get un­der­way at 2:30 p.m. with the walk/run to start at 3 p.m.

Some 33 par­tic­i­pants from the Con­cep­tion Bay North area walked or ran around the half-kilo­me­tre track at St. Fran­cis Field last year, up from the 27 who took part in 2010. They helped raise ap­prox­i­mately $1,739 for can­cer re­search in mem­ory of the late Terry Fox, who started it all 32 years ago with his in­au­gu­ral Marathon of Hope.

Or­ga­niz­ers hope to match or ex­ceed that level of par­tic­i­pa­tion this week­end.

Har­bour Grace was one of 42 com­mu­ni­ties run sites around the prov­ince where thou­sands of peo­ple turned out a year to help raise over $260,000 for the cause.

Robin­son noted that some 84 cents out of ev­ery dol­lar raised from the events goes to­wards can­cer re­search, some of which is tak­ing place close to home at Memo­rial Univer­sity in St. John’s.

“Can­cer sur­vivors are liv­ing proof that can­cer re­search is work­ing to de­velop new drugs and treat­ment meth­ods,” she said.

Based on the most re­cent three­year av­er­age, to date the Terry Fox Foun­da­tion has raised over $600 mil­lion for can­cer re­search world­wide, ac­cord­ing to its web­site.

Hope and in­spi­ra­tion

On Sept. 1, 1980, 143 days and 5,373 kilo­me­tres from St. John’s, where he had dipped his ar­ti­fi­cial leg in the At­lantic Ocean on April 12 of that year, Terry Fox was forced to aban­don his cross-Canada run out­side Thun­der Bay, On­tario af­ter can­cer was found in his lungs.

The well-known story of Terry Fox is one of courage, de­ter­mi­na­tion and true grit that has in­spired peo­ple across Canada and around the world to run, walk, bi­cy­cle, and push their wheel­chairs and strollers to raise money for can­cer re­search.

While his death sad­dened the na­tion, his life in­spired Cana­di­ans to make sure his Marathon of Hope for a cure for the dis­ease that had taken his own life would never die.

bbow­man@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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