Sunshine boosts Burnaby Fox runs
"At 18 Terry Fox was a university student. At 19 he was a cancer patient. At 21 he was a hero."
That simple message on the back of the t-shirt worn by Darrell Fox, Terry's brother, spoke volumes to hundreds of students crowded into Convocation Mall at Simon Fraser University on Tuesday for the school's annual Terry Fox Run, and to hear Darrell's inspirational words.
Fox was in his first year of kinesiology studies at SFU when he was diagnosed with bone cancer in 1977. At the end of his third year he embarked on his Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer research.
Of course Fox' quest to run across Canada ended that September when symptoms his cancer had reoccured forced him off the road at Thunder Bay, Ont. Since his death in 1981, the Foundation that bears his name has raised more than $600 million in the fight against the disease.
SFU has never forgotten its most famous student.
There's a statue of Fox in the Quadrangle. Every year students, staff and faculty participate in a run around campus. The Terry Fox Gold Medal Award is presented annually to a student who demonstrates "personal qualities of courage in adversity and dedication to society which have been exemplified by Terry Fox." This year's recipient is Cristina Pastia, who recovered from the shocking murder-suicide death of her parents to propel her studies in a new direction towards a career as a victim service worker.
This year's run also marked the launch of Terry's CAUSE, to honour Fox and his legacy, as well as promote healthy and active living, at university and college campuses across Canada.
• More than 350 participants and volunteers helped raise almost $15,000 at the 32nd annual Burnaby Terry Fox Run at Swangard. But with donations still trickling in, organizer Anna Solnickova is hopeful she'll still reach the target of $20,000.
"The sun was shining for a change," said Solnickova, herself a cancer survivor. "Everyone was having a wonderful time."
Donations can still be made by contacting Solnickova at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-716-2963.