Since 1985, the people of Airdrie have raised $248,470.42 toward cancer research through donations while running, walking and biking their way to more public awareness surrounding the annual Terry Fox Run.
Sept. 19 will be the second virtual Terry Fox Run in Airdrie in recent years, due to continued precautions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Marathon of Hope was the dream of Terry Fox, who had his leg amputated just above the knee due to osteogenic sarcoma. To raise awareness and ultimately find a cure for cancer, Fox ran approximately 25 kilometres a day in 1980, making his way through the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario with the goal of running across the country to solicit donations.
Unfortunately, Fox was forced to stop running just outside of Thunder Bay, Ont. on Sept. 1, 1980, after his cancer returned and spread to his lungs. He died on June 28, 1981 at the age of 22.
Since then, more than $850 million has been raised in Fox’s name.
Kyla Cox, the organizer of the Airdrie Terry Fox Run, said although last year’s local event was also virtual, thousands of dollars worth of donations were still raised by the community as a whole, totalling $7,564.
The virtual event means there will not be a mass community run on Sept. 19, and instead, participants are encouraged to do spurts of activity wherever they can as a way to raise funds for cancer research.
There is no time limit or distance they need to do – it can be around the block or a few laps of a City park, Cox said in a press release. Residents interested in participating in this year’s ‘One Day. Your Way” event can visit terryfox.org/run and search for Airdrie. Collecting funds can be done online and progress can be easily shared with friends and family throughout social media.
Registration is open and participants can compete until the end of the month.
Although Cox is looking forward to a time when the run can return to an in-person format, she said the goal for now is to match or exceed last year’s contributions and to see more people come out and support the cause.
“I hope Airdrie residents participate as [the] Terry Fox Foundation is doing so may great things around Canada and around the world,” she said.