The Terry Fox Run is important for a lot of people, says organizer Shannon Sund, who was happy that it was a nice sunny day.
“You see a lot of the same faces year after year.”
The turnout was pretty good, according to Sund, who says she was happy with it. It was the first year the run was moved to Centennial Park.
“We have the water park. We have the bandstand and we want to start over the years a little larger and growing. So we thought we need to start training people now.”
Sund has been organizing the run since 2013.
“I believe in the foundation,” she says about her motivation for organizing it. “I have had my own issue with cancer.”
A lot of people talk to her about their stories as well, she says.
“It’s never going away so we need to keep raising money.”
The Terry Fox Foundation is great because they’re all about research and without research there are never going to be new cures and new drugs, she says.
“Even just to make better medicine so we’re not so sick and it’s easier on us.”
She thanks her volunteers, as well as having Carrie McCormack from the Terry Fox Foundation present at the event.
“What she says is true, we will never have another hero like Terry Fox.”
All about hope
Carrie McCormack says it was really nice to be in her hometown for the walk.
“Being part of a Terry Fox Run is a very moving experience and being back in my home town where I used to go door to door collecting pledges for skate-a-thons and selling Girl Guide cookies made it that much more special. 38 years later, these same folks in the 100 Mile Community continue to answer Terry’s call to action”
Some of the people from back then were walking the walk today, she says.
The run is important to help cancer research, she says.
“The best day of my life would be if I got a call from the foundation saying you don’t have a job anymore,” she says getting a little emotional, “because we found a cure.”
“That’s the ultimate.”
Incredible progress has been achieved already, she says, with cancer patients not just being in their bed and sick.
“If we keep doing that, you know, people affected by cancer are still gonna be able to have a life and those survivability numbers and rates as they keep increasing… I remember back in the day, 30 years ago, cancer to me, that word meant you were gonna die and I just feel like that is not the case today.”
So first and foremost, it’s about raising money to keep making improvements, she says.
They’re super proud at the foundation that 82 cents out of every dollar goes directly to cancer research, she says.
For McCormack, this year marks thirty years that she’s been cancer free.
Without people like Terry Fox, “I wouldn’t be here today,” she says. “I am a 30 year cancer survivor thanks to early detection and treatments made possible through people’s donations to cancer research. How does someone ever repay this gift? For me, it is now about giving back and raising money for cancer research so the next person or family afflicted by cancer has hope.”
“It’s all about the hope that Terry started for us, right, the Marathon of Hope and every year there’s more and more and more hope.”
A regular participant
Greg Stevenson and his dog Jude (like the song, he says) have been participating in the Terry Fox Run for many years.
He says he always comes out to the event.
“I haven’t missed one yet. I’ve been to every single one.”
Coming out seems almost like a given to Stevenson.
“When you think of a five [kilometre] walk for us, look what Terry Fox did.”
The first to finish
Colin Birtwistle was the first participant to finish the run this year, although he had some competition close on his heels.
The run was great, he says, even though it was also a little hard.
Nonetheless, he likes taking part.
“It raises money for charity.”
A personal connection
Dan Ko (left) and Shane Jordaan were the first adults to finish the run.
“My grandpa died of cancer, so I’m running for him,” says Ko.
He says he’s not sure how many times he’s taken part in the Terry Fox run.
He was making donations on behalf of the RCMP, Kokoro Judo Club and Montane Forest Consultants.
Jordaan says it’s a worthy cause.
“It’s a good run. It’s fun. I’ve run it a couple of times also and yeah I just enjoy the exercise and getting out.”