Marathon of Hope beings Canadian citizens together to fight cancer with hope and community

Photo by Miguel A Amutio on Unsplash

On Sunday, Sept. 18, runners gathered at Lakeside Park to participate in the annual Terry Fox Run, a continuation of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope from over four decades ago.

The Marathon of Hope is a yearly event that began with Terry Fox, who lost his leg in 1980 to cancer at 18 years of age. Terry went door-to-door in a cross-country run across Canada, gathering funds to put towards cancer research. 

After his passing over 40 years ago, Canadians across the country continue to run in Terry’s name year after year, allowing his vision to continue by raising more money for cancer research.

This year’s Marathon of Hope was the 42nd annual run, and participants meeting at Lakeside Park were greeted with clear conditions to run, walk, or bike in.

Many participants in the St. Catharines run were participating with a loved one who had been affected by cancer in mind. Despite the sadness that many runners were feeling as they thought about their affected family or friends, the theme of hope remained high amongst everyone at the event.

“We’re very hopeful we’re going to find ourselves in a world without cancer,” said Bill Pristanski, the former chair of the Terry Fox Foundation, to the St. Catharines Standard.

This year’s run was the first one to be held in-person since 2019, as the COVID-19 pandemic caused the event to take place virtually over the last two years. While efforts had been made to keep the run going over the peak years of the pandemic, this year’s iteration of the Marathon of Hope brought back a theme that was surely intended by the original Terry Fox Run: togetherness.

St. Catharines alone raised over $57,000 for cancer research during the 2022 Marathon of Hope. With Terry Fox’s original goal being to raise $1 for every citizen of Canada (which was surpassed in 1981 when donations passed $24.17 million, the Canadian population at the time). 

The Terry Fox Foundation reports that Canadians have raised upwards of $850 million through the annual event since Terry began the first Run in 1980.

Terry Fox once said “I am not a quitter,” and Canadians across the country proved once again in 2022 that they are not willing to quit either.

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