It was for the COZ – they were all members of Team Casey, walking their talk and being there as part of his extended family.

Part 4 of a 4 part Terry Fox Run photo essay.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  September 17, 2012  It was for the COZ – there were close to 200 people wearing the small piece of paper that read Team Casey.

There were T-shirts, several handmade creations that said they were there to support Casey Cosgrove as he battles cancer.

Parts of Team Cosgrove

As Deb Tymstra was having the walkers get into the line in front of the starting gate – someone had Team Casey at the other side of the starting gate.  There were so many Team Casey people that the walkers couldn’t get started until the Team Casey people were out of the way.  So Deb Tymstra put them through a warm up exercise given by the Cedar spring ladies.  Eventually, the photo shoot was done and the Team Casey people worked themselves into the walking line and Don Pace did the –  Get Ready, Get Set and Go call.

The Team Casey members were easily recognized. Besides being the biggest group they were probably the noisiest as well. There was never any doubt when a team member crossed the finish line.

They were walking for Casey Cosgrove and along the way appreciating who he was and what he has done for his community.  They thought about the really funny stuff that pops up on his Facebook page and they wondered as well about how much Terry Fox has done for cancer research.

It is cancer research breakthroughs that offer Casey the hope and the opportunity to beat the cancer he battles.  Casey is quite open about his struggle.  He has good days and bad days – but he has hundreds of friends to support him.

Part of bearing the load. Top two members of Team Cosgrove

Terry Fox brought the same robust attitude to his situation: he refused to regard himself as disabled, and would not allow anyone to pity him, telling a Toronto radio station that he found life more “rewarding and challenging” since he had lost his leg.  His feat helped redefine Canadian views of disability and the inclusion of the disabled in society. Fox’s actions increased the visibility of people with disabilities, and in addition influenced the attitudes of those with disabilities, by showing them disability portrayed in a positive light.  Rick Hansen commented that the run challenged society to focus on ability rather than disability. “What was perceived as a limitation became a great opportunity. People with disabilities started looking at things differently. They came away with huge pride”, he wrote.

Two members of Team Casey giving it that final push.

Casey Cosgrove has taught thousands how to deal with health adversity.  Some disabled people are made to feel like failures if they haven’t done something extraordinary.  Casey is just an ordinary guy doing his best and giving just as much as he is getting.

One of Fox’s earliest supporters was Isadore Sharp, founder of the Four Seasons Hotels. Sharp had lost his own son to cancer and offered Fox and his companions free accommodation at his hotels.  He donated $10,000 and challenged 999 other businesses to do the same.   Sharp also proposed an annual fundraising run in Fox’s name. Fox agreed, but insisted that the runs be non-competitive. There were to be no winners or losers, and anyone who participated could run, walk or ride.  Sharp faced opposition to the project. The Cancer Society feared that a fall run would detract from its traditional April campaigns, while other charities believed that an additional fundraiser would leave less money for their causes.  Sharp persisted, and he, the Four Seasons Hotels and the Fox family organized the first Terry Fox Run on September 13, 1981.

Some members of Team Cosgrove made their own sweaters. One of those has to be used in the Spiral submission for the Performing arts Centre if that submission is chosen.

Over 300,000 people took part and raised $3.5 million in the first Terry Fox Run.  4000 of those dollars came from Burlington.

Schools across Canada were urged to join the second run, held on September 19, 1982, and now have their own   National School Run Day.  The runs, which raised over $20 million in its first six years, grew into an international event as over one million people in 60 countries took part in 1999, raising $15 million that year alone.

Last Sunday, in Burlington, more than 1000 people did the run – and 200 of them were there for Casey Cosgrove and the COZ.

Part 1 of 4

Part 2 of 4

Part 3 of 4


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1 comment to It was for the COZ – they were all members of Team Casey, walking their talk and being there as part of his extended family.

  • Benny

    Way to go Team Casey!!! I am so proud to call Casey Cosgrove my friend and was glad to be a part of helping the COZ in any small way I could. He is an amazing person, leader, and inspiration to so many! Cheers brother!