Gail Delorme first became interested in working with the Terry Fox Foundation after meeting Betty Fox in Rockglen in 1982. “She never used the donations she received for her own expenses,” Delorme said of Terry Fox’s mother, who helped to develop the Terry Fox Foundation after her son’s death. “That drew me in,” Delorme said. Delorme was also impressed when she received a letter from Fox afterwards, saying “It was lovely meeting you in Rockglen, Gail.”
Delorme is one of many organizers across the country who have assisted the Terry Fox Foundation by organizing local Terry Fox Runs. People of all ages are encouraged to partake in these nationwide Terry Fox Runs, regardless of their ages, athletic abilities and socio-economic standings. The Terry Fox Run never poses entry fees or minimum donations, but the foundation asks participants to fundraise or make personal donations to aid the battle against cancer.
Participants in the Terry Fox Walk/Run in Assiniboia met on September 15 in the Southland Co-op parking lot. In years past, local accomplices in these runs have always convened in the parking lot at the Co-op in Assiniboia. The Co-op has usually supplied ice cream for the participants after the run. “Southland Co-op has always been generous by welcoming us here,” Delorme said. This year, the walk/run in Assiniboia as per usual began at the Co-op then carried up to Dominion, etched down Third Street to the CPR Railway tracks, continued on to the Assiniboia Veterinary Clinic, moved up on Seventh Avenue then shifted over to the Courthouse before returning to the Co-op.
“We’ve been doing it for years,” Teri Hanstock said. “We’ve had some family members who’ve had cancer,” she added. The Hanstock family also participate in the annual event to have fun and to remember Terry Fox. This year, Teri was joined by her husband Jason, her daughters Amelia, Elise and her son, Ian. “Ian likes the ice cream at the end,” Teri added.
Carolyn Henderson had attended Terry Fox Runs for a long time in several communities, even when she lived on a NATO base in Germany. “I’ve been walking for many years in Terry Fox Walk/Runs,” Henderson explained.
“We usually come every year. This is something we participate in as a family,” Amy Hansen said. Amy’s daughter Anika and her son Axel were also present with her for this year’s walk/run in Assiniboia.
Terry Fox was born in Winnipeg in 1958. The athletic young man discovered he had a malignant tumour in his leg in 1977. Fox’s leg was amputated 15 centimetres above the knee. Terry started training for his Marathon of Hope two years later in 1979, envisioning a cross-Canada run with the objective of raising money for cancer research and awareness of this common disease affecting many Canadians. According to estimates, 220,400 new cancer diagnoses and 82,100 cancer-related deaths will happen in Canada in 2019.
Fox’s famous run started in St. John’s Newfound in April, 1980, when he submerged his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean. Fox’s Marathon of Hope ended outside of Thunder Bay after running 5,373 kilometres for 143 days in September 1980, when the primary cancer in Fox’s body had spread to his lungs.