Terry Fox, age 22, is running coast-to-coast across Canada on an artificial limb, after losing his right leg to cancer three years ago, in an effort to raise money to fight the killer disease. (Bettmann/Getty Images)

Quesnel’s Terry Fox Run slated for Sept. 17

The route is Quesnel’s Riverfront trail counter-clockwise for 5.5 km or less

Once again its time to start collecting pledges for the Terry Fox Run, slated for Sept. 17 beginning in LeBourdais Park at the Friendship stage. The route is Quesnel’s Riverfront trail counter-clockwise for 5.5 km or less, depending on your abilities. Dogs, wheelchairs, strollers and rollerskates are welcome.

Terry Fox T-shirts will be available for sale and coffee, oranges and cookies will be available at the beginning and end of the run.

“The goal of the Terry Fox Run is to honour the legacy of Terry Fox, to raise money for cancer research through the Terry Fox Foundation and to provide an opportunity for community, family fun in a non-competitive atmosphere,” Rotary Club member Cathy Walsh said.

Terry Fox grew up in Port Coquitlam, B.C., played basketball and enrolled in kinesiology at Simon Fraser University. At the age of 18 he lost his lower leg to bone cancer. On April 12, 1980, Terry started the Marathon of Hope in St. John’s Newfoundland. Although slow to gather momentum, Terry’s friend Doug Alward and family members were there for Terry every day as he ran the equivalent of a marathon every day.

Crowds began to increase, donations for cancer research also grew. On Sept. 1, 1980, after 5,374 km and 143 days, Terry had to stop his running as his cancer has spread to his lungs. He died a Canadian hero in 1981.

The first Terry Fox Run was in 1981, the year Terry died as a result of his cancer. There were 760 run sites in Canada and these events raised $3.5 million. The Terry Fox Foundation became independent of the Canadian Cancer Society. To date, the total fundraising for cancer research has reached $750 million worldwide and more than 9,000 Terry Fox Runs are held annually across Canada. For every dollar donated, 82 per cent goes to cancer research.

Quesnel’s Terry Fox Run is sponsored by the Rotary Club, and they encourage everyone to either gather cash donations or go online at the Terry Fox Foundation website and download a pledge sheet.

For a few hours of your day, you can help make a huge difference for those battling cancer.

Cancer research has made it possible for six out of 10 cancer patients to be alive five years after their diagnosis. Survival rates are highest (more than 85 per cent) for thyroid, testicular, prostrate, melanoma, female breast and Hodgkin lymphoma cancers.

The Terry Fox Foundation is focusing on pancreatic, lung and bronchus, liver and brain cancers.