Celebrating Terry Fox

Sep 04, 2003, vol. 28, no. 1
By Marianne Meadahl

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Terry Fox's dream of raising money to fund cancer research lives on in the annual thud of runners hitting tracks and pounding pavement around the world.

On Sept. 18, runners and walkers on campus will add their footsteps to the cause. SFU's Terry Fox run/walk is part of a bigger event celebrating the efforts of the SFU alumnus. Organizers say everyone has good reason to join in the activities.

“There is probably no one in society not touched by cancer,” says Geoff Vogt of SFU's intramural office, an organizer of SFU's third annual Terry Fox day. “I don't think most people fully grasp what he did, putting in 26 miles a day, seven days a week. It's almost beyond comprehension to imagine how incredibly painful and difficult it would be to do this with an artificial limb.”

Vogt says SFU's event will help keep Terry's dream alive while bringing the campus community together.

Besides honouring Fox and his Marathon of Hope, the event also illustrates for students the values Fox represented and how individuals can make a difference in the world.

“It's an important message, especially in these times,” says Vogt.

The event raises money for the Terry Fox foundation through run/walk pledges and sales from a community barbecue held in Convocation Mall following the run/walk. This year, a Toonies for Terry campaign is aimed at raising $2 for every student, staff and faculty member - a target of $44,000. A drive will be held around campus between Sept. 9-17.

In addition, Jon Driver, dean of graduate studies, is putting out a challenge to graduate students. Those participating in the walk/run can buy a $1 ticket from the dean's office (MBC 1100). The dean will match the first 250 entrants dollar for dollar. He will also donate $5 for the first 50 participating students who finish before him.

The five-kilometre walk/run begins with a warm up at 11:35 a.m. on the Terry Fox field. This year's route follows the west ring road and loops back up to the field, avoiding the construction at the east end of campus.

Vogt is encouraging the campus community to participate. “Honouring Terry through activity is huge,” he says, noting the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “Our motto is, ‘be active, your way, every day.' ”

The event also features speeches by SFU chancellor Milton Wong and President Michael Stevenson, and the presentation of the Terry Fox gold medal. This year's recipient is Jodie Warren, a graduate student in the school of criminology, who suffered a stroke at 23 and has permanently lost the use of her right arm. (See a full story in the next issue of SFU News).

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