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Christina Lake residents come together for Terry Fox Run

Annual fundraiser for cancer research brings out 40 people

Terry Fox’s legacy continues to motivate Christina Lake residents to come together as a community to support cancer research.

About 40 residents signed up to walk, bike and run for Terry Fox Day, Sept. 17 to raise funds for his namesake’s foundation. Participants had multiple choices to participate, including walks, a 2 kilometre, five-kilometre and 10-kilometre loop runs around the community.

Organizer Ryan MacGregor said donations are still coming in, plus there is an online auction also gathering funds, but as of Sept 23 the event had raised about $5,000. All of that, he said, is going to the Foundation, which donates around 77 per cent of all funds collected to cancer research.

While the goal is to raise funds to support cancer research, he said having the community come out and get behind a cause, even 43 years after the original Marathon of Hope, was still amazing to see and keep seeing.

“We gave people options to get as many out as we can,” he said. “This started for us about four years ago, then COVID happened so it was virtual, which meant it was pretty non-existent. But we were able to get out and do our thing last year and set a great precedent.”

MacGregor added there are two parts to collecting funds. The first is the participants and online auction and the second is he canvasses local businesses for support.

Last year’s also had a surprise guest, Terry’s brother, Fred Fox, whom just happened to be passing through Christina Lake and stayed for a while to greet participants.

MacGregor explained all funds they collect go straight to the Foundation because of their mandate to have the majority go to research, which was Terry’s wish.

The online auction will continue until Oct. 1 and a QR code can be found on the Christina Lake Terry Fox Run Facebook Page.

Terry Fox, from Coquitlam, was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma just above the knee when he was 18. The experience and seeing so many people suffering with cancer motivated him to organize The Marathon of Hope with the goal of raising $1 from every person in Canada for cancer research, according to The marathon started in St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador April 12, 1980, but was forced to end just east of Thunder Bay, Ont, Sept. 1 of that year after it was discovered the cancer had spread to his lungs. He died June 28, 1981.

His family established the Terry Fox Foundation to raise funds for cancer research and education.