It’s been 36 years since Terry Fox embarked from St. John’s N.L. on his historic Marathon of Hope.
After having his right leg amputated due to bone cancer, the 21-year-old Port Coquitlam man would forever impact the lives of Canadians with his cross-country run to raise money for cancer research.
Unfortunately, after 143 days and 5,373 km, he was forced to stop, as his cancer had spread to his lungs. He passed away a few months later.
To this day, Canadians from coast to coast, including here in Langley, continue Fox’s Marathon of Hope on the third Sunday in September through the annual Terry Fox Run.
Landing on Sunday, Sept. 18 this year, the Langley City event is taking place at Douglas Park at 10 a.m.
Runners, walkers and bikers are welcome to take part in either the 1 km, 5 km or 10 km routes as an individual or a team.
Event organizer Marg McGuire-Grout is encouraging as many teams as possible to sign up this year, as participating in a run like this is much more fun when it’s done as part of a group, she said.
There is no registration fee or minimum donation required, and those who sign up in advance can have their team name printed on an official Terry Fox T-shirt.
The event will feature a special tribute to the late Langley City councillor, Dave Hall, who was a longtime supporter of the Terry Fox Run, and organizers are also encouraging cancer survivors to join “Terry’s Team” to “celebrate their survivorship,” McGuire-Grout said.
For McGuire-Grout, who took over as event organizer last year, the Terry Fox Run hits close to home, as her mother, father and aunt all had cancer.
“There’s probably very few people on the planet these days that haven’t been touched — in some way — by cancer,” she said.
She can remember being in Toronto back in 1980 when Terry Fox came through on his run, and says she is blown away by Canadians’ continued support, especially with so many different organizations in need of funding.
For every dollar donated to the Terry Fox Foundation, 84 cents goes directly to cancer research. More than $700 million has been raised to date.
“There are very few Canadians who haven’t heard of Terry Fox. He is a Canadian icon,” McGuire-Grout said.
“It is amazing that 36 years later, it is still going — and that’s the result of the Fox family and the amazing work they do.”
To register in advance or donate to the Langley City event, visit www.terryfox.ca/terryfoxrun/langleycity.
Registration is also available the morning of the event.
More information is available on the Facebook page “Terry Fox Run 2016 — Langley City” or by emailing McGuire-Grout at firstname.lastname@example.org.