Lake Country Terry Fox Run participants used the new Rail Trail for the fundraising event. -Image: contributed

Terry Fox runs in Kelowna and Lake Country see surge in support

Terry Fox runs took place around the Central Okanagan

After an eight year absence from Lake Country the Terry Fox Run returned on Sunday and exceeded all of its goals.

MLA Norm Letnick MLA said the goal was to meet or exceed the 2010 achievements of 50 participants and $1,500 raised and organizers weren’t disappointed.

They raised over $8,000 with 70 participants.

“Not bad with only 3 ½ weeks to prepare,” said Letnick. “Now with a whole year in front of us I believe we should set our sights on $10,000 with 100 participants.”

The Kelowna event was also successful and infused with energy due to Terry Fox’s younger brother Darrell attending.

He celebraed his 18th birthday while on the road of the Marathon of Hope in 1980 and now, at age 56, he’s still able to see the importance of that journey.

“It’s amazing to see that, here we are, 38 years removed from the Marathon of Hope, and the story still resonates and I know I’m biased but I think it always will,” said Darrell, who spoke at the annual Terry Fox Run in Kelowna.

“It’s a powerful story, we don’t need to add to it, to dramatize it, it’s incredibly powerful what one person can do.”

Terry was diagnosed with bone cancer at 18, and as a result, his right leg was amputated. After deciding to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research, he was forced to stop partway because cancer spread to his lungs. He died at 22.

It’s an important story to share with the younger generation, he said.

READ MORE: Volunteers needed for Kelowna Terry Fox Run

“It’s so cool to see the sincere interest from kids and children,” Darrell said. “What moved and inspired Terry was young children… he always felt they were much braver than he was.”

Darrell said cancer research has come a long way since 1980, but there’s still a journey ahead.

The feeling of pride he feels for Terry and what he accomplished has never faded, he said.

“I never want to do that and none of us family members wants to take this incredible legacy for granted,” he said. “Every day (I’m) proud to wake up and be a small part of this legacy.”

RELATED: Organizer sought to restart Terry Fox Run in Lake Country

To find out more about Terry Fox events in your area, visit http://www.terryfox.org/.

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Contributed Doug Allward, Terry Fox and Darrell Fox stand beside their van on the Marathon of Hope in 1980.

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