According to the Canadian Cancer Society, more than 3,000 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer every single week. More than 39 per cent of Canadian women will develop cancer during their lifetimes, and 44 per cent of men. And while huge leaps have been made in detection and treatment — partly due to funding from the Terry Fox Foundation — cancer remains the leading cause of premature death or early death in Canada.
It’s a rare individual or family that has not been touched by cancer, which is part of the reason why the Terry Fox Run is continuing to grow and gain momentum.
Since the first Terry Fox Run was held in 1981, the summer after Fox died of cancer, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $400 million for cancer research, directed through the National Cancer Institute of Canada. The money is spent on everything from prevention, to early identification, to improving treatments and researching new cures. In 2007-08, more than $20 million of Terry Fox Foundation funding will be distributed to research projects.
There are literally hundreds of runs taking place across Canada on Sunday, Sept. 16, and thousands of schools will host their own runs and fundraising efforts on Sept. 28.
Internationally, there are close to 70 runs taking place, from Kabul, Afghanistan to Ho Chin Minh City in Vietnam. Some of those events are hosted by Canadians living abroad, as well as by Four Seasons resorts at the request of chairman and founder Isadore Sharp. Sharp made a promise to Terry Fox to help keep his Marathon of Hope alive, and has honoured that promise since the first Terry Fox Run in 1981.
The Whistler event will take place on the sports fields behind Meadow Park Sports Centre, with registration getting underway at 9 a.m. The race starts at 10 a.m., with both 5K and 10K routes following the Valley Trail.
Participation is by donation, and all participants will get a ticket to the raffle. Additional raffle tickets will be available before and after the race, with prizes that include four nights stay at the Four Seasons in Kona, Hawaii — valued at $4,000 — as well as nights at the Delta Village Suites, gift certificates for restaurants, and dozens of other prizes.
Last year more than 400 people took part in the Whistler run, raising more than $14,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation. Organizer Scott Taber, GM of the Four Seasons, is hoping to break both records this year by adding a viewing of the movie Terry on Friday night and a new Corporate Challenge category. Taber has run in every single Terry Fox run since 1981, and has been working with Four Seasons runs for the past 22 years.
The viewing of Terry, a made-for-TV movie produced by CTV, will take place at the Four Seasons on Friday, Sept. 14 in the Harmony Ballroom. The doors open at 6 p.m. and admission is by donation. If you don’t know the Terry Fox story, or need a little encouragement for the run on Sunday, this is the place to be.
The Corporate Challenge is new to 2007, and encourages local businesses to take part. Businesses with the highest level of participation and most spirit will be given a chance to win an employee party for up to 75 at Buffalo Bill’s that is valued at $5,000.
Corporate registration and pledge forms for individuals are available online at www.terryfoxrun.org . Click on the link for Provincial Pages and follow the navigation bar to the registration area.
If you cannot run or wish to register as a volunteer, contact Mary Vaughn at firstname.lastname@example.org . Raffle tickets and registration are also available.