Terry Fox Run raises $11,000

Participants sweat it out during the Terry Fox Run on Sunday.
Participants sweat it out during the Terry Fox Run on Sunday.

Claudia Bello, ArtSci ’08, sat on the steps of Jock Harty Arena on Sunday awaiting the start of her first Terry Fox Run. Her reason for being there was simple.

“My mom died of cancer,” she said.

Several feet from where Bello sat was a poster board where Terry Fox participants could write the names of loved ones to whom they were dedicating their walk, run or bike.

Ralph Westgarth, a local elementary school teacher, made his dedication more public.

Instead of adding a name to the dozens already written, Westgarth wore a bib stitched onto the front of his tank top that read “Running for Dawn” in bold, red letters.

Westgarth taught a girl named Dawn Beam four years ago while she was in grade one. Beam is now undergoing cancer treatment in Kingston.

But Westgarth’s time with Beam was not his first encounter with a child suffering from cancer.

“A boy I taught in kindergarten named Timmy died of cancer, and that’s what really got me started,” he said.

Westgarth has participated in every Terry Fox Run since Timmy’s death. He is also a marathon runner.

“This is more meaningful than running marathons quite frankly,” he said. “[It’s] more special.”

A consistent theme connected all participants during the 23rd annual Terry Fox Run on Sunday afternoon, said event organizer Stacey Smith, Sci ’05.

“It’s a cause everyone can get involved with,” she said. “Everyone knows someone affected with cancer.”

Held on a pristine fall afternoon, the event drew 370 participants and raised an estimated $11,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation.

“Terry Fox was a Canadian hero who left quite a legacy, and it’s interesting to see so many people who were not alive when he ran participate in this event,” said Jim Tod, a Kingston resident who was joined by his three young children, Lauren, Joel and Reegan.

“He touched a lot of people and it shows how one person can make a difference,” Tod said.

Since the inaugural run in 1981, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised over 340 million dollars for cancer research.

Chad Arcand, Sci ’07, who kayaked from Kingston to Ottawa this summer in another cancer fundraiser, participated in the Terry Fox Run because his mother had cancer.

Dennis Morel, 44, said he has participated in the Terry Fox Run for a number of years.

“I’ve lost both my parents to cancer, and so many of my friends have cancer,” he said. “Hopefully they will find a cure.”

Morel’s golden retriever Carly sat next to him.

“Plus, it’s a good walk for her,” he said.

Sarah Keda, ArtSci ’05, works at a cancer lab at the Cancer Research Institute in Botterel Hall.

“It’s nice to know that I’m helping out,” she said.

Lewis Clarke, Brook McCurdy and Dana Awamleh, all Sci ’07, each participated in the run for different reasons.

“It’s a good cause, and a chance to get some exercise—burn off the beer belly,” Clarke said.

“We’re poor students, and this is a good way to contribute,” McCurdy said.

“The event makes me want to run,” Awamleh said.

There was a one-kilometre walking route within campus, and a five-kilometre running and biking route extended just beyond main campus borders.

Terry Fox Fast Facts

—Inspired by 21-year-old Terry Fox, who attempted to run across Canada in 1980 to raise money for cancer research in his Marathon of Hope.

—Fox ran 42 kilometres a day through the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario with an amputated right leg. He was forced to quit after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres.

—The fundraiser, which began in 1981 after Fox died of cancer, is run annually in September.

—To date, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $340 million for cancer research.

—1,000 runs across Canada this past Sunday raised an estimated $21.1 million.

—This year’s run at Queen’s drew 370 participants and raised an estimated $11,000.

—Over 50 countries participate in the run worldwide.

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