What Terry Fox did in the 1980s has inspired several communities across Canada and the world to increase awareness about cancer.
To date, over $700 million has been raised for cancer research as stated by the Terry Fox foundation.
And Terry Fox’s story lives on, making communities such as Vanderhoof participate in the annual run to raise funds for cancer research.
Carrie Smith, organizer of the Vanderhoof Terry Fox Run says she is inspired by Terry’s spirit.
“Just the fact that one person can make a difference, and the idea of not giving up is really important to me,” Smith said.
Registration for the Vanderhoof run is scheduled to start at 9 am on Sept. 15 at Riverside Park.
This town has had a Terry Fox run since the late nineties, and 2019 marks twenty-one years since Vanderhoof started supporting the cause. Since 1998, the district has raised $33,865.30 for the Terry Fox foundation.
Last year there were 68 participants and Smith said she was really excited to see the turnout.
“I believe that he is such a Canadian icon and just the fact that he went out and did it. Not to raise money for himself, but he did this to raise money for everyone else,” she said.
Smith’s goal for this year is to raise $5,000 and have 100 people participate in the run.
Participants don’t have to necessarily run, she said, noting that people can walk or jog according to their liking and choose between a 1km, 3km and 5km loop. The event is wheelchair friendly too, she said.
“Its a fun community event and there is no pressure. It’s just a really easy way to come out and support a great foundation,” Smith added.
For people who want to participate earlier than the run, Smith said they could raise pledges online. At this time, there are four participants from Vanderhoof, who have registered online and have raised $250. To raise a pledge, one has to register online at the run site and then fundraise, she said.
The community has always been supportive, Smith said, noting that participating had decreased over 5 years ago, but since then its gained popularity again.
Local businesses are donating snacks for participants which will be available after the finish line.
“We have always kept the event nice and simple and we are not looking to compete with other Terry Fox runs in bigger communities,” she said.
There are 8 volunteers including Smith who are organizing the event.
“I have always been picky with who I donate money to and the Terry Fox run is all volunteers, where they have one employee for every 400 volunteers. Their cost is very low so I feel the benefit of the money donated really helps,” Smith said.