Close to 800 people came out to the Mission sports fields Sunday morning for the 2017 Terry Fox Run. -Image: Warren Henderson/Capital News

Terry Fox Run inspires, connects Canadians

Annual fundraising event in Kelowna is a healing for some, a way to support community for others

More than most, Betty Adams-Hill’s life has been touched by cancer.

Still, each September, the Kelowna woman comes out to express her gratitude by walking in the annual Terry Fox Run.

“I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for the research that’s being done and the amazing medical system we have here,” said Adams-Hill who credits the Terry Fox Run for the many of the advances in cancer research.

“No doubt in my mind it’s helped a lot of people with cancer and being able to survive it.”

Adams-Hill and her husband, Glenn Hill, were among an estimated 800 people who walked, ran and cycled Sunday morning in Kelowna for the 37th edition of the Terry Fox Run.

A survivor of her own bout with cancer in 1999, Adams-Hill’s immediate family also has a history of battling the disease.

Thanks in part to the message and legacy left behind by Terry Fox, Adams-Hill said she and her family continue to persevere.

“I think about people in my family who have been touched by cancer, my dad passed away from cancer, my brother had throat cancer, my mom is battling cancer, but we find a way to survive,” she said. “It’s a beautiful day and just nice to be out here and see all these people being part of it.”

Unlike Adams-Hill, neither Roberto Signoroni nor Jeff Tepper have been directly touched by cancer, but both felt a need to attend Sunday’s event.

For Signoroni, the Terry Fox Run is the tie that binds so many Canadians.

“As Canadians there are certain things that bring us together and this one of those things,” Signoroni. “I even remember from school one of my assignments said who was one of your role models and I wrote down Terry Fox. It just sticks, it’s a great story and a great way for us to come together as Canadians.

“It feels like you’re a part of something really important and bigger than yourself.”

“Exercise, community, a great way to spend the day and it’s important to support a good cause like this,” added Jeff Tepper.

One of the head organizer’s of Sunday’s run, Norm Sabourin, said Fox’s legacy and the impact of the annual run has never been more significant.

“Remembering the legacy of Terry Fox, he was an amazing young hero,” Sabourin said of Fox, who ran a marathon for 143 consecutive days in 1980. “He was tenacious as a person could be, he set a goal and went for it. An average, everyday Canadian doing something superhuman, extraordinary.

“His legacy has certainly has had an impact on the advancements made in cancer research.”

As of Sunday afternoon, the Kelowna Terry Fox Run had raised $28,000, with more donations still to be counted.

More than $750 million has been raised world wide since run’s inception in 1981.

For more information or to make a donation, go to terryfox.org

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Kelowna singer-songwriter Bo Jahura performs his song, ‘The Fox’, a tribute to Terry Fox.

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