A few words at the Terry Fox run September 21, 2012Posted by admin in : News , trackback
Last month I received a letter from a young woman by the name of Jennifer Parker asking me to say a few words at the Terry Fox run she was organizing on September 9, 2012.
Jennifer said that this “Cause has become intensely personal for me during this past year when a dear friend at the young age of 22 lost her own battle to the same cancer as Terry Fox after living through an amputation at the age of 19 and rounds of chemotherapy thereafter. She never gave up. She never stopped living. We ran the run for her last year just weeks before she died”.
Jennifer went on to say that she had taken on the task of organizing the run in Fernie “With the intention of reigniting the passion and energy of the run here. I want to make the event a family affair, an activity that families will decide to do annually and become involved in, year after year. I want them to remember Terry Fox and teach their young children who he was and how heroic and determined he was in the face of adversity. Terry never gave up and my wish is this strength is passed on to future generations. I want families to run this run for the Terry Fox in their lives”.
Sunday was overcast but the enthusiasm of the people that turned up was pretty contagious. Runners began arriving at nine am to register. Mark van Camp had his DJ equipment on site and played music to lend an air of festivity. Tables were set up holding water, juice and platters filled with chunks of fruit and cookies. Inside coffee and muffins were available. Another table held silent auction items including a Calgary Flames jersey signed by all the players. A bouncy castle and large metal tree stood so that kids could colour pictures to hang on it.
Before the run well known yoga master Francesca had everyone doing stretches. For a first time event it was very well attended by families and people of all ages including a large group of Ghostrider players.
As mayor I delivered the following short speech to those present;
“The Terry Fox Run was first organized in 1981 by a man who had lost his son to Cancer.
When this man met Terry Fox he was inspired by the courageous way Terry faced his cancer and also by Terry’s dream of wanting to create public awareness of this disease.
Terry didn’t ever seek recognition or riches, he never accepted money from corporate sponsorship and he turned down all endorsements because he never wanted to distract from his dream, his goal.
He believed that participation in the run was more important than completing the distance set.
The first run had 760 sites across Canada, today there are more than 5000 sites with over two and one half million participants in countries world-wide.
Terry Fox was a man of courage and purpose. He faced his illness with heroic determination.
There are many people today that take heart from hearing about this man and how he faced adversity.
Cancer is a disease that touches everyone in some way. There are many people that are confronting what Terry faced with the same strength and determination.
Today as you run with your family and friends remember Terry, but also remember all of the others that are facing this same hardship.
Dedicate your energy to all of the people you know and also those you don’t.
Make this run the best ever not because of distance or finance but because of your tremendous passion and compassion towards those facing the struggle of Cancer.”
I want to commend Jennifer for organizing the event as well as her parents, sister and friends who came to help and support her in this endeavour .
I also want to thank Cam Mertz Director of Leisure Services for being there to assist them in whatever was needed as well a sincere Thank You to the participants.
Fernie is especially fortunate to have so many people willing to give of their time and talents to organize special events, to all volunteers, you are the heart of our community, you provide the life and love needed to make events successful. Congratulations and thank you.