Rain hammered down Sunday morning but 150 hearty souls ran or walked anyway in the 39th annual Terry Fox Run in Chilliwack.
Organizer Krystal McKay doesn’t yet have official numbers but a conservative estimate is that they raised $10,000 including online in advance and day-of donations for the Terry Fox Foundation.
That number may increase as amounts roll in in the coming weeks.
|Team Carter and their red shirts walking at the start of the Terry Fox Run 2019 on Sept. 15. This is the second year for Team Carter, formed in honour of Carter Johnston who died in March 2018 of the same cancer that afflicted Terry Fox. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)|
Before the walk/run on Sept. 15, which started and finished at the Chilliwack Landing Sports Centre, McKay gave an emotional speech about why she got involved, specifically because she was diagnosed when she was just 14 with the same cancer Terry Fox had.
“Part of Terry’s treatment plan was to amputate his right leg six inches above his knee,” she told the crowd. “In 2001, I was given the most intense treatment available, as my medical team knew this particular type of bone cancer is aggressive and can rapidly spread throughout one’s body. Luckily, I had the option of removing my knee and surrounding bone and was given a new titanium knee rather than amputation like Terry.
“Eighteen years later, and just this past spring I had my knee replaced a second time and this is why I’m sporting this really cool leg brace. I can honestly say that because of Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope, the money he raised directly benefited our knowledge about cancer and treatment plans of the future.”
(See below for more photos.)
It was because Terry Fox died after the cancer spread to his lungs, that doctors now know the chance of reoccurrence of osteosarcoma in lungs is high.
“In 2003 and 2009 I had tumours removed from my lung. Ultimately, this is what took Terry’s life in June 1981. The cancer spread to his lungs in September 1980 after being on the road 143 days. Terry ended his personal Marathon of Hope and stated: ‘I’ve said to people before that I’m going to do my very best to make it, I’m not going to give up. But I might not make it… if I don’t, the Marathon of Hope better continue.’”
McKay recounted Terry’s desire to raise $1 from every person in Canada, a goal reached in February 1981 and now multiplied many times over.
But here in Chilliwack, the money raised is not matching the population so, for the 40th annual event in 2020, McKay said she will work hard, starting next spring, to get 500 people out to the run and indeed raise at least $90,000, a dollar for everyone in the city.
”Let’s help Terry’s dream become something even bigger and better over the next year for his 40th anniversary of the Terry Fox Run in 2020…. Terry hoped to raise $1 from each Canadian. I hope to encourage the residents of Chilliwack to help me achieve this goal for 2020 with $1 from each Chilliwack resident.”