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Burnaby’s annual Terry Fox Run is near and dear to Anna Solnikova’s heart. It’s also a family affair.
Solnikova has survived two battles with cancer herself. When she was 17 she was diagnosed with the same type of bone cancer in her leg that cost Fox his leg and eventually his life. But advances in research and treatment, some of them funded by the Terry Fox Foundation, allowed her to keep her leg as well as her life.
“I wake up every morning and look at my leg and say, ‘thank God.’ So much of what I have is because of the foundation,” says Solnikova.
Which is why she doesn’t blink twice taking on the task of organizing Burnaby’s annual contribution to the hundreds of annual runs that are across Canada and around the world on the second Sunday after Labour Day. Since it was founded in 1981, the Terry Fox Run has raised nearly $500 million.
To share in her gratitude and the work load, Solnikova enlists family and friends as well as volunteers. Her husband is the co-organizer and is in charge of setting up Swangard Stadium on the day of the run, her brother-in-law sets up tents, her mom sets up the route through Central Park, her father handles the water stations and her sister ensures kids are entertained. Friends also help with the merchandise table, registration and collecting donations.
“We have many other wonderful volunteers who help us make this possible,” says Solnikova.
Last year 277 participants ran, walked, rolled and cycled the two, five and 10 kilometre routes that wind through the park, raising $17,143.81.
This year, Solnikova hopes 300 participants will be able to raise $20,000.
“The weather is such a huge component of that,” says Solnikova, adding the guest speaker at September’s run will be Alison Ince, Terry’s nurse, who will share memories of her time with Fox and his family. “This is a true family event.”
This year’s Terry Fox Run will be held Sunday, Sept. 16 at Swangard Stadium. Registration begins at 9 a.m., ceremonies an hour later and the run commences at 10:20 a.m.
Pre-registration isn’t required, nor is there any minimum donation. For more information, or to volunteer, contact Anna at 604-716-2693 or firstname.lastname@example.org.