Terry Fox inspires Nelson

Terry Fox inspires Nelson

It has been 35 years since the young Terry Fox embarked on his cross-country Marathon of Hope.



Runners, walkers and cyclists gathered at Lakeside Park in Nelson this morning for the thirty fifth Terry Fox Run. This year 184 participants and volunteers warmed up for a variety of distances ranging from one to 10 km.

So far $10,313.76 has been raised and more funds expected later this week. Volunteer June Spearman said this is the most money raised in the 10 years she has been involved.

Sarah Quayle spoke to crowd gathered for the Terry Fox Run. She is a three time cancer survivor and paddler for the Kootenay Rhythm Dragons dragon boat team. Tamara Hynd photos

Sarah Quayle, a three-time cancer survivor and Kootenay Rhythm Dragons paddler, addressed the crowd to share a bit of her cancer story which provided inspiration and hope.

Quayle’s first diagnosis was at the age of 30 when her son was just five years old. And over the year’s two more cancer diagnosis were made, each one a different type.

She told the Star she is grateful for all the progress cancer research has come.

“If I had my other diagnosis back when I was 30, I don’t think I’d be here today because research has come such a long way since then. People are skeptical that the funds go to research,” she said  but added that such a high percentage of fund-raising  for Canadian and international cancer societies goes directly to research.

And that’s what the annual fundraiser is all about: raising funds for cancer research, which for the Terry Fox Foundation has amounted to $700 million since 1981.

Gaelen, newly 9, and dad John Schnare celebrate finishing Gaelen’s first Terry Fox event while John remembers participating in dozens of runs in the first 20 years of its inception. Tamara Hynd photos

As the decades have passed, new family traditions are forming, like with Gaelen, 9, and his father John Schnare who cycled the five kilometre route.  John, a grade 4-5 teacher at Rosemont Elementary said he and his son had practiced a few warm ups at school (Gaelen is in his dad’s class).

This was Gaelen’s first time participating so they left a bit ahead of the group resulting in them being the first to return. (The event is non-competitive and, thus is not timed.)

As John reminisced about a certificate he has somewhere at home, which is covered with stickers for all the many times participating in the first 20 years of the run, an run organizer overheard the conversation and told them the stickers are in fact still available to add to the collection or start a new one.