The 43rd annual Terry Fox Run for cancer research will take place on Sept. 17 in Whitehorse at Rotary Park.
The run is held annually across Canada and in a variety of places around the world.
The event will start in Whitehorse at 10 a.m., with registration beginning at 9 a.m. Participants will run, walk, bike and move in some way for one lap of the Millennium Trail.
The run honours Terry Fox, who died of cancer in 1981. Before his death, Fox started the Marathon of Hope in 1980, running a marathon a day and covering a total of 3,339 miles, raising $23.4 million for cancer research.
Whitehorse organizer George Maratos said the theme for this year’s run is #DearTerry because Fox received a lot of letters during his run from people who were impacted or inspired by what he was doing.
“That’s a kind of a legacy,” he said.
Maratos has been organizing the run since 2008. He said no one in his family is directly impacted by cancer, but friends and others have been diagnosed with the disease. Some have unfortunately passed away.
“It’s a disease that affects everyone in some capacities, including friends or family members, and it’s not a hard effort to get behind,” he said. “I look forward to the run every year because it’s one of my favourite days. Just seeing the community come together, knowing what we are doing, that we are honouring Terry, celebrating community and giving people a space to remember someone in their lives who has passed from cancer. I think that’s why people enjoy it so much.”
Maratos said organizers expect between 150 and 200 people at the run, noting he would love to see a record number.
“It’s about people coming together to support the cause. There is no timing, it’s not a race or a timed event. People can walk, run, skateboard, or they can just come to hang out, enjoy coffee and make a donation. That’s really what it’s all about.”
He said donations can be made at the venue or online at terryfox.org by searching for the “WhitehorseRun.”
“I just hope that people take a moment to think about Terry, at the very least, during the run. I would like to see them out with some donations. Every dollar goes towards a cause of cancer.”
A Sept. 12 statement said thousands of Canadians from nearly 600 communities across the country will carry on the “legacy of one of Canada’s most inspiring athletes and activists.”
Per the statement, the annual fundraiser continues Fox’s dream of raising critical funds for life-changing cancer research in Canada.
In the week following the Whitehorse run, the Terry Fox School Run will take place with more than three million students and 10,000 schools participating.
“Earlier this year, to document how Terry’s legacy continues to inspire our nation, the Terry Fox Foundation gave Canadians the opportunity to submit their own personal #DearTerry messages online. Thousands participated, demonstrating how Terry’s story continues to create a lasting impact,” the statement read.
“Terry was determined to create a world without cancer,” said Fred Fox, Terry’s older brother. “The outpouring of #DearTerry messages, personal memories, and even drawings we have received sharing the impact of Terry’s story reinforces to us how his legacy continues to live on through the passion and dedication of Canadians.”
“Everyone has been impacted by cancer in some way,” Maratos said. “The Terry Fox Run is special in that it allows the community to come together to raise money for the cause, honour Terry and remember those loved ones directly affected by the disease.”
The Terry Fox Foundation has raised over $850 million for critical research projects in areas such as precision medicine — a new framework for cancer research and care aimed at accelerating the pace of improvement in cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment.
Since 2008, more than $90,000 has been raised in Whitehorse.
Contact Patrick Egwu at email@example.com