Quesnel’s Team Family Fun (pictured in front) continue to raise large sums of money for cancer research through year-round bottle drives and other fundraising initiatives for the city’s Terry Fox Run. Ronan O’Doherty photos

Quesnel’s Terry Fox run as inspirational as ever

80 participants brave gloomy weather to shine their light for cancer research

Approximately 80 runners and walkers who wanted to band together against cancer trickled into LeBourdais Park on Sunday morning (Sept. 15) to take part in the city’s 39th annual Terry Fox Run.

While the route has changed over the years, Quesnel — like many cities, towns and villages through Canada — has held a Terry Fox Run every year since the famous Canadian first attempted his own run across our country.

This year, the participants — which included residents of all ages — made their way around Quesnel’s Riverfront Walk.

While it is hardly crossing a land mass the size of Canada, the intention was very positive from everyone.

Once again, the Quesnel Family Fun team — made up of Gary McLean, Shane Rawling, Joyce Standbridge, MaryAnn Kopetski and Elaine Kopetski — raised a colossal sum of money.

Through garage sales and long weekend bottle drives, the squad managed to rustle up $16, 755 for the cause.

Everyone did their part by getting together and showing solidarity against the disease which affects so many.

“Who would have thought that a 19-year-old man could spark such an event?” Run co-ordinator Cathy Walsh of the Quesnel Rotary Club said while looking out over the crowd.

“If you know someone with cancer, it’s scary and frustrating, but they are making progress,” she continued.

Terry Fox’s legacy

Terry Fox grew up in Port Coquitlam, B.C.

As a teenager, he developed bone cancer and was forced to have his right leg amputated about 15 centimetres above the knee. He was 18 years old.

While he was in hospital, Fox met many other young cancer patients. It was an experience which led him to begin training for what he would later call the Marathon of Hope. He trained for his run across Canada for 18 months, running more than 5,000 kilometres in that time.

On April 12, 1980, just three years after having his leg amputated, Fox started his run in St. John’s, Nfld.

He ran approximately 42 kilometres a day, with the goal of raising one dollar for every Canadian.

Fox’s run lasted 143 days, before he was forced to stop because a cancer had developed in his lungs.

His run ended outside of Thunder Bay, Ont., on Sept. 1, 1980, and he died on June 28, 1981, less than a year later.

But the Terry Fox Run, in memory of Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope, is a tradition that has persisted across Canada ever since.

More than 10,000 communities across Canada take part in the Run each year.

Terry Fox Runs take place not only in Canada, but also in 32 countries around the world and on five continents.

— with files from Heather Norman

READ MORE: Team Family Fun will bring another huge donation to Sept. 15 Terry Fox Run in Quesnel


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Terry Fox Run participants warm up before embarking upon the 5K run that follows the city’s Riverfront Trail.

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson, Rotary Club representative Cathy Walsh and Cariboo Regional District vice-chair John Massier (pictured) thanked the gathered crowd for their dedication to fighting cancer. Ronan O’Doherty photos

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