In 1980 Terry Fox set out on his Marathon of Hope and ran across the country for 143 days straight to help raise awareness for cancer research and funding. (Terry Fox Run file photo)

Fundraising effort underway for Terry Fox Foundation after traditional run cancelled

Organizers will be at White Rock Farmers Market Sept. 6 and Sept. 13

As the Terry Fox Foundation closes in on raising $1 billion for cancer research over the past 40 years, events this year look a bit different due to the spread of COVID-19.

Even though Terry Fox events across the country are not taking place as usual on Sept. 20, organizers around the country are still rallying for financial support.

South Surrey and White Rock residents who planned to participate in the event are now being encouraged to run on their own, or together with people in their bubble, on Sept. 20.

RELATED: ‘Amazing legacy’: Terry Fox Run goes virtual for 40th anniversary of Marathon of Hope

To raise funds, event organizers are to set up a stall at the White Rock Farmers Market today (Sept. 6) and Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In Cloverdale, organizers will be accepting donations and selling merchandise between 10 a.m. and noon on Sept. 20 at the Cloverdale Legion.

“Because we cannot run in person we have to run together in spirit,” Terry Fox community events director for BC and the Yukon said in a news release. “Wherever you are – in your neighbourhood, backyard, down the street or around the block – walk, run, ride!”

Fox ended his Marathon of Hope in Thunder Bay 40 years ago. For his brother, Fred, it’s a day of reflection.

“Terry had started back on April 12, 1980, and made his way through the Maritime provinces, Quebec and stopped in Thunder Bay,” Fred told Black Press Media by phone Tuesday (Sept. 1).

Terry had run 3,339 miles (5374 kilometres) in his journey, including 21 miles on that day, before acknowledging that he could no longer run; despite a leg amputation three years earlier, the cancer had returned and spread to his lungs. He died on June 28, 1981, at just 22 years old.

Fred said that every year on Sept. 1, the family is reminded of “the beginning of a wonderful, amazing legacy” that Terry left – one they weren’t always sure would last.

“In the early years, in early ’80s , our parents were told this is only going to last a few years,” he said. To date, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised more $800 million for cancer research, and the annual run is held in countries all over the world.

To donate or register for the virtual event, visit www.terryfox.org

– with files from Katya Slepian

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