By Fred Groves
There is a symbiotic relationship between Terry Fox and all the participants in this year’s Marathon of Hope Run, including those who live in Minden.
Sunday morning, several women known as Nancy’s Fun Fit Group gathered at the Minden Community Centre to take part in a virtual fundraiser, which last year due to Covid-19 did not occur whatsoever. And although this year’s Minden Terry Fox run was scaled down, it still brought a powerful message.
Just as Terry Fox overcame obstacles in his quest to raise awareness and funds for cancer research, those in Minden have put the pandemic behind them as best they can; fought off adverse conditions, and carried on.
“I am almost five years cancer-free but it’s always on my mind,” said Anica Sabel of Minden.
She has been taking part in the Terry Fox run since 2014, two years before she was diagnosed with cancer.
“I know it can be beaten. This supports research,” she noted.
Minden has hosted a Terry Fox Run since 1994 and on Sunday, local organizer Barb Millington reported that since its local inception, this community has raised more than $330,000 to help beat cancer.
Judy Webb laced up her sneakers for the 12th time and along with her fellow fitness enthusiasts, has her own particular reason for joining in.
“He’s (Terry Fox) an inspiration and I made sure my grandson who moved to the United States knows who he is,” says Webb.
Terry Fox began his trek across Canada on April 12, 1980 when he dipped his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean. Osteogenic sarcoma resulted in him losing his leg at a young age but his journey of determination not only inspired a nation, but his international fame has spread to the point where there are now over 650 communities that participate each fall in the Marathon of Hope. It was Sept. 1, 1980 when his long run ended after 5,373 kilometers.
Lorraine Turcotte said her father witnessed Terry Fox walking along Highway 401 and personally, she has only missed two of the runs since they began in 1994, one when she was eight months pregnant. On Sunday she said that one year she pushed her grandson in a stroller.
“I have every one of the news clippings. I have done every run except two,” said Turcotte.
Locally the Minden Terry Fox Run has raised about $9,000 each of the past previous few years and the event would draw dozens of walkers, runners and cyclists but as local organizer, Barb Millington says Covid-19 has changed how things are done.
“In previous years, the whole community would get together but now they have to do it themselves.”
Those who walked together in Minden on Sunday certainly believe in the words from Terry Fox who once said, “I want to set an example that will never be forgotten.”