For two young parents, this year’s Terry Fox Run was not only the site of an important fundraising event, it was where they gave their daughter some of her first life lessons.
To Pickering residents Robert and Cassandra Scrimgeour, Fox is not only an inspiration, he was an opportunity to teach their daughter Stella, 3, about compassion. And so, on Sunday morning at the Pickering edition of the 36th annual Terry Fox Run, the couple participated for their first time since grade school, but this time, as a family.
“(We want to teach Stella) the importance of helping people, those who need it. The importance of being there for others. Of giving back, especially. Of not being selfish. We think this is an important thing to try and teach at this age,” Robert said.
As a scientific advisor for the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Paul Uehling experiences the benefits of the Terry Fox Run first hand.
“I understand how this money is being used and what advances we’re making,” said Uehling. “It’s a great cause and a fun experience.”
Uehling was one of over 400 participants gathered Sunday at the Toronto Beaches to take part in the local community’s 35th Terry Fox Run. As one of the longest running Terry Fox locations in Toronto, The Beaches run always enjoys a strong turnout of participants and fundraising.
Doris Spencer’s first Terry Fox Run was in 1987. At the time, Spencer, now 92, was running for her eldest daughter who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Nearly three decades later, Spencer is still doing the Terry Fox Run in Scarborough’s Cedar Brook Park. Three of her children died of cancer.
A few years ago, Beatrice Povolo suffered a tragic loss in her family as her brother died from brain cancer. Although it was an extremely difficult loss to cope with, Povolo now uses her brother as inspiration to run in the Terry Fox Run.
“Unfortunately, he died at a very early age, at 23, and he had quite a battle of it from the beginning,” Povolo said Sunday at the 30th annual Terry Fox Run in Pickering, Ontario.
Nancy Kelly ran with 40 other family members and friends. Her son, Christopher, died in 2009 from osteosarcoma; the same cancer Fox suffered from. Kelly’s son benefitted from advancements in cancer treatment.
“There were a number of things that weren’t available for Terry. They couldn’t operate on his lungs. The only option for Terry was to have a leg amputated. Christopher had different options, he had the ability to have three lung operations,” Kelly said.
Patrick Doyle has the same disability as Terry Fox, except his right leg was amputated due to a workplace accident in 2013, after heavy machinery fell on him and left him in coma. Doyle has slowly recovered, and now his goal is to get back into running, as he was an athlete before the accident. During Sunday’s Terry Fox Run on September 18, 2016, Doyle ran 10 kilometres at Woodbine Beach using his own prosthetic leg. Despite his disability, Doyle’s ultimate goal is to finish the New York Marathon in November.
Blaine Sikich was at an impressionable age when he first heard of Terry Fox’s run across Canada. Like the rest of the country, Sikich was saddened and touched when Fox’s life ended. But Sikich was also inspired to organize his very first Terry Fox Run, at the time using the dirt field behind his public school. Ever since then the Thornhill man has been involved one way or another.