Almost 40 years after his death, Terry Fox continues to bring people together from all across the country to raise money for cancer research.
The Terry Fox Run first started in 1981 just months, after the Marathon of Hope runner died from cancer.
Each September the run is held in communities across the country, including an event in Pitt Meadows that attracts hundreds of participants.
“I don’t know how many other countries, especially countries like the size of ours, has something like that, that can unite us,” said Ali Wakeling, organizer of the Terry Fox Run for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.
“We’ve made a lot of progress in over 30 years, since Terry ran,” she added. “There are people who are alive today because of money that’s been raised by the Terry Fox Foundation.”
Wakeling said she was a little girl when Fox was running the Marathon of Hope. Now, as a school teacher, she said it’s important to her to teach her students about his story.
“It was a really moving story for a little girl to watch. It really had a profound impact on me seeing that and talking about it in school,” she said.
This year’s run will be held on Sunday, Sept. 15 at Spirit Square in Pitt Meadows, located at 12007 Harris Rd. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the run starts at 10 a.m.
“There’s no actual donation required. We ask people register so we know how many people are coming out. But, of course, we encourage people to make a donation to the Terry Fox Foundation,” said Wakeling.
People can register online at www.terryfox.org or can sign up at the event. Participants will have the option to complete the one-, five- or 10-kilometre routes.
“It’s not competitive at all… it’s just a fun family event,” said Wakeling.
Terry Fox T-shirts will be available for sale at the run for $25. “They are an amazing design this year,” said Wakeling.
Participants can expect a live DJ in the morning to help “pump up” the crowd before the start of the event and shouldn’t be discouraged by poor weather.
“We want people to be like Terry and persevere and have the courage to come out, no matter what the weather is, because our event goes on rain or shine,” said Wakeling.