Terry Fox participant

84-year-old Verla Fiveash talks cancer prevention, the loss of her son and being a community leader

Verla Fiveash, 84, has been a community leader for as long as she can remember. She has been a Scarborough resident since 1969 and has grown quite attached to her tight-knit community. Fiveash has been an organizer and volunteer for over 30 years and this year’s 36th annual Terry Fox Run at Cedar Brook Park was no exception. Fiveash lost her son to colon cancer in February, 2017. He was 57 years old.

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Scarborough’s Cedar Brook Park: one of longest running Canadian Terry Fox events

Terry Fox is an iconic Canadian, he was doing the run when we were teens and he showed us leadership, he was a really good first example of leadership in the community,” said Janet Ainslie, who has been co-organizing the Terry Fox Run for three years in Cedar Brook Park with her husband, local city councillor Paul Ainslie. They are helped by 55 volunteers. The couple decided to take on the responsibility of organizing the run after the retirement of former organizer Ken Pearson, who had been in charge for 15 years. Their goal for this year is to raise between $30,000-$40,000. They hope to beat their overall amount last year of over $40,000. All proceeds from the run go to cancer research.