This past weekend was the running of the 32nd annual Terry Fox Run in Grand Forks, where residents gathered together to run, walk or cycle the eight-kilometre route to raise funds for cancer research.
Since his journey across Canada in 1980, Terry Fox has become a Canadian icon for hope, perseverance, strength and determination.
His effort and willpower has turned into a worldwide legacy and has become a powerhouse fundraiser.
Whenever I participate in a run, this one in particular, it reminds me of those many photographs that capture his pained face as he continued to run, despite his pain.
It is the hard determination in his eyes that contrasted immensely against his limping gait, tightly pressed lips and clenched fists that reveal the fighter in him and his persistence and drive.
I am healthy and able and I won’t give up when I struggle because he didn’t. There are now many, many organizations that have walks or marathons to raise funds for a cause, from cancer to multiple sclerosis, or lupus to Alzheimer’s.
In a world of over seven billion people, everybody has, is or will be affected by one disease or another. It can be someone close or a distant friend.
Sometimes people are blindsided by a diagnosis, and other times its unfortunately genetic.
There really is no telling who it will affect and in turn, ripple out and touch others.
Though some may disparage on donating to big charities and wonder where the money is going (and I do agree, to a degree), don’t forget what the cause is for and the reason behind why it was created.
It’s a moment of solidarity for the people who have fought against a disease – some who have won, some who have not. It’s for those who have lost a loved one and to remember and connect with others.
It’s a reminder of the fragility of human life and how we’re ultimately quite similar to one another.
It’s also a moment to reflect on the courage and strength of the individuals and supportive family and friends throughout a trying journey.
Take heart and stay positive because negativity will get you nowhere.
– Cassandra Chin is reporter for the Grand Forks Gazette