Cancer survivors, patients, family members, community members and visitors are all asked to rally together on Sept. 17 in McLennan, AB, to help raise funds for the Terry Fox Foundation.
The annual Terry Fox Run will be held starting at the McLennan Fitness Centre at 1:30 p.m., with organizers eager to help raise more money for the vital foundation.
Organizer Kristen Blanchette hopes people will come out to run, walk, cycle, or wheelchair in support of an important cause.
“I really believe in keeping Terry Fox’s legacy alive and find it a good way to show community members who are battling cancer or who have battled cancer that we support them,” says Blanchette, adding that the Terry Fox Run is an important way to raise money for cancer.
“People can either choose to do one lap which is three km, or they can do more. We try to encourage people to do three laps so nine km.”
She adds because of the online registration, if someone can’t come the day of the run they can still register online and collect or give donations that way.
Blanchette says this is an exciting event to take part in because it is the only run in support of cancer research done in the region, with most runs being held in the larger centres.
“It’s great to see new people come out who have never done it before or the regulars we see yearly,” she says.
“Also, when someone local has battled cancer we have had groups that rally behind them and come together.”
Blanchette adds it is important to her to keep Terry Fox’s memory alive, something that people across Canada can do, simply by participating in the run.
“We are really hoping for 20 participants. We raise less money and have less participants at the community run then we used to but the schools now participate in the run and I think that’s even more important,” Blanchette says.
Blanchette says her motivation to continue organizing Terry Fox Runs often comes from the emails she receives noting how donations help cancer patients. The most recent email she shared says 94 per cent of children diagnosed with childhood cancers are expected to be alive five years after their diagnosis, in large part because of donations made to help with cancer research.
In addition, five-year survival rate for certain cancers including breast, prostate, melanoma, thyroid, testis, and Hodgkin lymphoma is now over 80 per cent. The email impressively notes cancer mortality is decreasing over time. Since 1988, mortality rates are down 37 per cent in men and 22 per cent in women.
Blanchette asks readers to consider participating in the Terry Fox Run this September to help raise more funds for cancer research.
2023 is the 43rd year the Terry Fox Run has been held, and it has evolved into one of the largest cancer fundraising events in the world, with events taking place in 33 countries across five continents.
Interested participants can register beforehand and raise funds online by going to the Terry Fox Run page or https://run.terryfox.ca/28843. Blanchette says that participants can also register at the event, if they prefer. Money can also be donated on the website or in person at the run location.
By Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Aug 23, 2023