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Column: Terry Fox School Run is a powerful reminder of hope

Every dollar raised for the Terry Fox Foundation helps support programs for those in our community who are living with cancer.

WEYBURN - Students, families and staff will participate in the annual Terry Fox School Run on September 22. Traditionally the day promotes messages of love, hope, and inspiration from Canadians everywhere.

Terry Fox represented the best that Canadians have to offer. He was an example of courage, humility, determination, and perseverance. From a young age, he exemplified these attributes that made him an inspiration for not only Canada, but the entire world.

The annual Terry Fox Run has become a classic Canadian tradition every fall with more than 650 diverse communities across the country coming together to fund raise for cancer research.

After losing his right leg to cancer at age 18, Fox decided to run across Canada to raise awareness and money for cancer research. With the use of a customized running prosthesis, he set out from St. John’s, Newfoundland, on April 12, 1980 and covered 5,373 km in 143 days — an average of 42 km (26 miles) per day. He was forced to stop his Marathon of Hope in Thunder Bay, Ontario, on September 1, 1980, when cancer invaded his lungs. He died shortly before his 23rd birthday.

The Marathon of Hope raised $24 million by February 1981. Since then, the annual Terry Fox Run and Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $800 million for cancer research.

One of the great programs that is offered to local students and families during the annual Terry Fox School Run is the “Try Like Terry” challenge. This fun and encouraging challenge reminds every student that as long as they try to fund raise, and have fun while doing it, they are making a difference.

This is a huge reminder of the difference that one person can make. When Terry first started his Marathon of Hope, he did not receive a lot of support or acknowledgement – but he kept on going, kept on hoping, and kept on trying. He soon received national recognition in a short period of time, and tons of people wanted to show their support.

Every dollar raised for the Terry Fox Foundation helps support the important cancer research, and support programs for those in our community who are living with cancer. Survival rates are improving, yet more Canadians are being diagnosed with cancer. In fact, almost half of Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and important reminder of the fact that one in eight Canadian men are expected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Funding for cancer research can help save and improve lives.

Walk for a Cure, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month are right around the corner in October. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian women, affecting approximately one in eight.

There are many reasons to keep educated about cancer – donate to help the Terry Fox Foundation and Canadian Cancer Society.

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