BY CALLIE WRIGGLESWORTH
Cancer survivors, volunteers, families and even pets rallied together in support of the 33rd annual Terry Fox Run in Cambridge.
The run took place at Riverside Park on Sept. 15, with more than 200 people taking part.
The route travelled throughout the park and participants had the option of walking or running one kilometre, five kilometres or 10 kilometres.
Emilia Strada, the Terry Fox Run event co-ordinator, was pleased with the city’s response.
“The Cambridge community is really supportive of the Terry Fox Run … It’s really successful here,” she said.
There was no minimum donation or entry fee required to take part in the event, but people were encouraged to raise money for the Terry Fox Foundation. Eighty-four per cent of donations go directly to the foundation for cancer research.
The Terry Fox Run relies on volunteers to make it a success.
“Everyone volunteers, even the organizers … What sets us apart from other runs like this is we don’t have big sponsorships. That’s really not the Terry Fox philosophy. He didn’t want corporations making money with his run, and we have maintained that over the 33 years … we just rely on local businesses to donate supplies, or food or whatever they can,” Strada said.
When Terry Fox was diagnosed with cancer in 1977, he was given a 50 per cent chance of survival. In 2013, anyone with the same type of cancer has a 95 per cent survival rate.
Robert Bailey, a 22-year-old Cambridge man, is living testimony of this. Bailey is a survivor of osteosarcoma, the same cancer that Terry Fox had.
“The donations are saving lives … they saved my life,” he said.
Bailey was diagnosed with cancer in April 2012, and is currently in remission.
“The only difference between me and Terry Fox is 30 years of research,” he said.
Bailey walked the five-kilometre route and raised $455 for the Terry Fox Foundation. He said a few words to the crowd before the start of the race, emphasizing the importance of donating to cancer research.
“I would just like to say thank you to anyone who has ever donated to cancer research. I am proof that Terry Fox’s wish has come true. Terry Fox and I both had a large tumour growing out of our right leg, and we were both diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Now, 30 years later, thanks to his vision and your support, I am able to stand here with my own two legs and prove to you that we are winning the fight against cancer.”
This year, the Cambridge run raised $26,000 for the foundation.
The event, which is in its 33rd year, has raised more than $600 million worldwide.
People are encouraged to give year-round.
To donate, go to the Terry Fox website, www.terryfox.org.
BY CALLIE WRIGGLESWORTH