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Terry Fox Run Sunday at Garry Point

By Don Fennell

Published 4:36 PDT, Mon September 9, 2019

His was a Marathon of Hope. Ours is to keep the dream alive.

His was a Marathon of Hope. Ours is to keep the dream alive.

It was the start of September 1980, a dull day in Northern Ontario, when Terry Fox ran his last miles, forced by cancer to abandon his fundraising journey across Canada to raise awareness of  support for the fight against the diseases; the second-leading cause of death in the world.

On Sunday, Sept. 15, millions around the world will be showing their support by participating in the Terry Fox Run, a global fundraiser held annually since 1981.

Richmond, as it has been from the outset, will be marking the 39th anniversary of Terry’s Marathon of Hope with a local run at Garry Point Park in Steveston. The run will start at 10 a.m., following registration an hour earlier.

Howard Jampolsky, who along with his wife Marla has been organizing the Richmond run for the last several years, says it’s encouraging to see significant progress being made in cancer research.

“There is some new genetic therapy being developed as a result of the money raised by the Terry Fox Run,” he says. “It’s not hyperbole, lives are being saved because of the research.”

Participants in next weekend’s run will see many individuals wearing red Terry Fox Run shirts. They are cancer survivors, perhaps because of research made possible through donations raised right here at the Richmond run.

Jampolsky says one would be hard-pressed to find anyone who isn’t also personally affected by cancer. It’s fulfilling to help, even in a small way, fight the diseases that have taken so many lives.

“If someone gets up Sept.15, having the intention of coming out and it’s a little grey or cold and windy, just think about the people lying in a hospital bed or going through treatment,” he says. “We’ve got to get out and do our little part. You can run 10 kilometres or 350 feet.”

Says Terry’s older brother Fred Fox, “I know how proud Terry would be to know that the Terry Fox Run has become a fall tradition for millions of Canadians.”

So much has changed since Terry’s run in 1980 yet the drive for significant results in our cancer research projects is just as strong as ever. One such project is The Marathon of Hope Cancer Centre Network which is the most ambitious cancer initiative ever undertaken in Canada. This unprecedented collaboration will unite Canadian researchers and clinicians, and leverage big data to make precision medicine the standard of care for delivering best outcomes for patients no matter where they live. 

To date, over $750 million has been raised worldwide in Terry Fox’s name to fund the most promising and innovative cancer research.

It’s not how far Terry got. It’s how far he got us.

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