On Sept. 20, the 35th annual Terry Fox Walk was held in St. Catharines and hundreds of people showed up to show their support for not only Terry Fox, but to make a difference in the war against cancer.
This year, St Catharines aimed to raise $50,000 helping to meet its goal of $1 million collectively in the last 35 years.
“Just get out there and make a Terry team… this usually helps raise the most money, “said John Grummett, the organizer of the walk in St Catharines. Grummett has been involved with the walk for over 20 years.
According to Grummett, one of the most difficult aspects of the event is getting people to see their contributions as a part of a bigger picture.
“Getting people to embrace the team aspect of the event is one of the most important aspects of the Terry Fox Walk … not everyone donates but every small bit counts” said Grummett.
When asked what people can do to raise money for the walk, Grummett shared his own experiences with raising money in his office stating that, “In my office, I raised $2,000 dollars alone,” a testament to how the individual can easily get involved with just a little bit of effort.
When asked about who has locally contributed the most, Grummett stated that, “There have been lots of groups that have raised significant amounts for the run”, including Canadian Tire who helped the group by financing a page for the event and donating a significant contribution toward the $50,000 goal.
“What would have happened if Terry Fox got up one day and said ‘I can’t?’ There’d be no story,” said Michael Cuttler, a St Catharine’s local diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Osteoporosis who shared his thoughts with the St. Catharines Standard, “He persevered through all kinds of things that I can’t even imagine”.
“He could have quit, he could have given up,” said Cuttler. “His not giving up until he had no choice physically to quit, I thought not to compare myself to Terry Fox, but I had to quit because of circumstances that I had no choice over. But it was his idea that you had that kind of determination to keep a positive attitude, to not give up, to look beyond the condition I was dealing with. To get up every day and live life as normal as possible.”
“The one thing that Terry wanted is he didn’t want big corporate involvement, so you won’t see CIBC sponsored or anything like that. It was all about each individual family, child, each Canadian can make a difference with one dollar and that’s what we are trying to do here. We are trying not to over—commercialize it and make it a fun day” said Cuttler.
“It’s another part of life, and I look at it that way. It’s a challenge and I will take it on as it comes at me,” said Cuttler. “I can’t change my future, I have to trust my doctors, my treatment and my own ability to be positive, that is all I can do. I’m determined and I’m not a quitter.”
This marks the 35th year the Terry Fox Walk has run, starting all the way back in 1980 when Terry ran his Marathon of Hope. Despite his best efforts, Terry never completed the race and had to stop after 143 days and 5,373 km when his cancer spread to his lungs.
Inspired by Terry, every year more than 40 countries across the world participate in the Terry Fox Run.