The recent passing of NDP Leader Jack Layton is a saddening reminder of how cancer can affect the lives of so many people.
Unfortunately, cancer treatments couldn’t improve Layton’s health and he succumbed to the disease on Aug. 22.
But they have helped many others, like 13-year-old Cam Hicks of Maple Ridge, who’s recovered from Leukemia and this year has been given the honour of being a Terry’s Team Member during the Terry Fox Run on Sunday, Sept. 18.
Team members must have personal experience with battling cancer in order to be selected, and Hicks says he feels more connected to Terry because the two shared the same experiences of having cancer at a young age.
“It makes you feel good to be involved with the run because Terry raised all that money for cancer research and, to this day, the run is still going on, which is helping raise even more money,” he said.
“Cancer affects everyone, not just the people battling the disease. We could use everyone’s help and everyone should do this run.”
Part of being a Terry’s Team Member involves speaking at public events, an idea that would make many teenagers cringe. But not Hicks, who’s been participating in the Terry Fox Run since early childhood.
“I’m still working on my speech. I don’t really know what I’m going to say at this point, but I’m going to be doing that with a friend.”
“He’s a remarkable young man,” said Sandy Wakeling, a member of the Terry Fox Run organizing team for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
“As part of Terry’s Team, he will be acting as a community ambassador. He’s graciously agreed to act in that capacity, which is incredible.”
To date, over $550 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry’s name through the Terry Fox Foundation.
The meeting place for this year’s run will be on the soccer field at the Hammond Community Centre in Maple Ridge. Registration will start at 8:30 a.m. and the run itself will begin at 10 a.m.
Last year, 700 local participants showed up and raised $19,440.71.
But it’s not the money raised that’s important, Wakeling said, rather it’s the show of support that makes the most difference.
“We try not to put too much of an emphasis on the exact dollar amount. It’s more about coming out and showing your support for the cause,” Wakeling said.
“We want to get people out recognizing that this is a battle we wage together as a community,” he added.
“Last year we had 700 hearty souls out there in a torrential down pour. It’s great to see the community spirit behind this event year after year.
“We’re hoping for more people to turn up this year and we’re hoping nicer weather will prevail.”
There will be 1k, 5k and 10k races where participants are encouraged to run, walk, bike, roller blade, skateboard and even walk their dogs.
According to Wakeling, the Terry Fox Foundation allocates more money back to cancer research than any other cancer fundraiser in Canada.
“For every dollar raised, 85 cents goes directly towards cancer research. People can rest assure that any money being put towards this cause will go exactly where it’s needed most.”
• For more information on the run visit www.terryfox.org.
Terry Fox fundraising app
The Terry Fox Foundation has a new tool to make it easier for donors to send cash.
The Terry Fox Foundation launched its fundraising app for iPhone and Android phones two weeks ago to coincide with this month’s annual Terry Fox Run (Sept. 18) and National School Run Day (Sept. 28).
Participants who are registered online for Fox runs can use the app to track their donations, send emails to potential sponsors, receive credit card or PayPal donations, and leave messages. As well, their updates can be shared via social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Roberto Cellere, who works in the charity’s Quebec office, helped introduce the program in just a few weeks – and at a low cost – with Artez Interactive, the foundation’s online fundraising solutions and e-commerce provider.
“The app was created to give the foundation the ability to leverage the power of mobile technology to the fullest extent possible,” Cellere said, adding, “In 2010, the foundation experienced a significant increase in online fundraising revenues and that success provided the impetus to move forward with the next logical step, which is giving our online participants the latest in fundraising technology.”
The 30th anniversary of the Terry Fox Run proved to be a financial boon for the organization, collecting $28.7 million in the fiscal year ending March, 31, 2011 — up more than $3.3 million over the previous year. Of every dollar raised, 85 cents is spent directly on cancer research programs.
Since it started, the foundation has brought in more than $500 million to fight the disease that claimed Fox’s life in 1981.
• For more information on the app, visit terryfoxrun.org.