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Terry Fox Run 2012: Runners raise money, honour Fox's legacy

Sep 17 2012
Large crowds attended the annual Terry Fox Run through Stanley Park  in Vancouver on September  16,  2012. 

Large crowds attended the annual Terry Fox Run through Stanley Park in Vancouver on September 16, 2012.

Photograph by: Wayne Leidenfrost , PNG

The Delivuk family remembers Terry Fox well.

As a student at Simon Fraser University in the late 1970s, Mark Delivuk and Fox were both limping around the school’s track. Delivuk was recovering from knee surgery, and Fox from his bone cancer-related amputation just above the knee while training for the Marathon of Hope that began in 1980 in St. John’s, Nfld.

Shannon Delivuk, then a teenager, kept a scrapbook of Fox’s news clippings, photos and inspirational quotes. She still has it. And their daughter Maria has participated in the Terry Fox Run with her parents since she could walk the 10-kilometre course, even doing a “run-walk thing” at age four.

This year the family, in matching blue 30th anniversary T-shirts, reminisced about Fox and his legacy on the grass at Second Beach after jogging through Stanley Park with more than 800 Vancouverites Sunday morning. Organizers said they hoped to raise more than $100,000 for cancer research through the Terry Fox Foundation.

“All (Fox) wanted was one dollar from every Canadian. And look at it now,” Shannon said. Since Fox’s death in 1981, the Foundation has raised more than $600 million worldwide.

The 32nd annual Terry Fox Run took place in over 113 cities in B.C. and the Yukon this weekend, and 760 cities around the world. The turnout in Vancouver was better than last year’s 650 participants, likely due to the warm and dry weekend weather, said organizer Randi Davis.

“Usually it rains every year,” Davis said. She has been a volunteer for eight years, and got connected through the Four Seasons Hotel, whose founder Isadore Sharp was one of Fox’s earliest supporters.

Hundreds of people were milling around the beach and picnic area, restoring their carbohydrates with the brunch hosted by event volunteers. A team of around 50 from the Jewish Community Centre wore matching orange T-shirts with “Shvitzing for the cure!” screen-printed on the front. (Shvitzing is the Yiddish word for sweating.)

“Everybody’s been touched by cancer. The list is way too long,” said Debbie Tabenkin, who added that four young people in her life had struggled with cancer this year alone. The community centre team was running for one member in particular, but has organized Terry Fox Runs since they began 32 years ago.

On a huge bulletin board, many scrawled the names of the loved ones they were running and fundraising for.

Yaron Butterfield said he was doing it for himself. He’s a cancer researcher, but was also diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, which is in remission.

“It’s kind of a miracle I’m alive,” he said, wearing a pair of blue and white Adidas shoes, replicas of the ones Fox wore during his 143-day marathon. He even lived for a time on the Port Coquitlam street where Fox grew up.

“I feel a connection to Terry Fox. He’s a hero, and he’s my inspiration.”

Butterfield has run the last five years in a row. He ran this weekend with his four-year-old daughter.


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