Mattias Schmitt and his girlfriend, Rachel Urquhart, are participating in this year’s Terry Fox Run in honour of three different people the couple know who have been touched by cancer. Submitted photo

Connections to cancer inspire young couple to run

Terry Fox Run takes place Sunday, Sept. 17

It’s been a few years since Mattias Schmitt last participated in a Terry Fox Run.

The 26-year-old Trinity Western University grad recalls doing the annual run in school, but hasn’t taken part in the cancer fundraiser since.

But this year, everything has changed.

After watching three people close to him battle the disease — including his girlfriend’s mom, his sister’s 20-year-old boyfriend and his grandfather, who passed away from kidney cancer a few months ago — it was a no-brainer for him to sign up.

Schmitt, along with his girlfriend, Rachel Urquhart, have organized a corporate team in this year’s Langley City Terry Fox Run through his employer, Toyota.

The team of six will join dozens of others this Sunday, Sept. 17, at Douglas Park, on a 1 km, 5 km or 10 km route through Langley City’s parks and trails.

“It’s just crazy how three different people that I’ve known have just had it in the last three months and just the different stages of life they’re in,” said Schmitt, who does digital marketing for the vehicle retailer.

“My sister’s boyfriend is really young and he’s a high level athlete and it’s just scary. They say good health is what’s preventing it, but really it can happen at any time.”

There is no minimum donation required to participate in the event, and runners can sign up the morning of at 9 a.m. The run will begin at 10 a.m.

All funds raised will go to the Terry Fox Foundation, which send 82 cents of every dollar donated directly to cancer research.

There are also two other runs taking place in the Langleys on Sunday. The Aldergrove run leaves the Kinsmen Centre at 9 a.m. and the Walnut Grove run begins at the Walnut Grove Community Centre at 9 a.m.

RELATED: Registration open for Terry Fox runs in the Langleys

“For me it’s just showing that support,” Schmitt said of participating in the run. “I like to be active, so this is something I’m in to, running, and something I get to enjoy as well as show my support.”

For more information on the Terry Fox Run, including advance registration and cancer-survivor registration, please visit