Sunday will be a bright sunny day with a very good reason to get out for a RUN or a walk. Annual Terry Fox event.



September 14, 2015

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  It wasn’t particularly good weather when Terry Fox dipped the end of his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean in Newfoundland in 1980,  but Burlington seems to get good weather for its annual Terry Fox RUN – during which hundreds of people just walk the course that begins at the Pump House in Beachway Park and circles from the Canal to the Waterfront Hotel.

In 1980, with one leg having been amputated, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over $500 million has been raised in his name.

Last year Don Carmichael, chair of the run this year, as well as last year, reports there were 1200+ participants who raised just over $80,000. Best ever year was the 25th anniversary year, raising over $100,000. Burlington has had a run every year for the past 33 years and in that time has raised $1.5 million for cancer research.

Carmichael noted that in 2012 “we had a group running with more than 200 members.  That was very, very significant and is a large part of what the Burlington Terry Fox run is all about.”

Giving it all you’ve got. A 2012 runner.

The local Terry Fox organization is delighted when large crowds of people turn out – but adds that the event is a fund raiser.  Without the funds – cancer research just doesn’t take place and without the research – we lose people that we do not have to lose.

$84,000 was raised in 2011 while just $70,000 was raised in 2012.

Commemoration boards were set up on the site for people to write a few words on. What few know is that the organizing committee has kept every board ever set up and written on. They are set up each year in a quiet corner where people can go and read what they wrote in the past.

Exhausting – but she felt great once she’d caught her breath.

Every dollar raised in Burlington goes to cancer research and while the run doesn’t have an official sponsor there are organizations in Burlington that come forward to meet the needs that range from water to food.  This level of support is hugely appreciated by not only the people who organize the run but by the community at large.

Cancer is a foul disease.  We all know someone that has been lost to the disease and far too many of us have lost a member of our family to the disease.  It can be beaten – we are beating it – but it takes research and advances in medicine to continue to save lives.

Last year a large crowd of supporters showed up with sweaters that had the letters COZ on them.  These people were running for the Casey – Casey Cosgrove who has been battling cancer for a number of years.  He is currently involved in a program at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto where he goes in once every week or so for the next step in his trial program.

Casey has a web site in which he posts some of his thoughts about this part of his journey.  Let me share a most recent one with you:

It was a LONG 8-hour day in PMH yesterday.  There at 7am, left at 3 to the usual lousy traffic…blood work, then an x-ray, then a meeting with my oncologist and study nurse, then a CT, then chemo.  Long day, then raced back for a hockey game with Evans team, the team I coach.

There were there in droves last year and grateful that they are running again this year. Casey will be with them.

No results yet.  They have told me to expect some “inflammation” in the affected areas that it is almost standard with this anti PD1 drug I am taking now.  They will call me if anything out of the ordinary appears in my test results.  I still feel fine, but one never knows – there is not always a direct correlation between how you feel and look vs. what’s going on inside one’s body – I think I’m living proof of that.

Bryna is going to be mad that I forgot to tell her this – I got the call the other day and forgot frankly. You may recall another study I did where they took a part of my tumour to see if its ‘markers’ may give them information about a drug or such that may be a good match for me.  No such luck – my tumour didn’t show yield any particular unique information that gave them much more to go on.  I was told that there was a ‘marker’ that was very unique, but what that means they don’t know.  They simply scientifically don’t know what it may mean.  So, no harm no foul on that one. It didn’t tell me anything really but they had to call and let me know.

All else is good here.  Hockey has begun. School is in.

People like this define courage – Now you know why you need to be out there on Sunday – starts at 11 – and walk with hundreds of others.



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