Gabriolans raise $2,739 at Terry Fox Run

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, September 20 2016

45 Gabriolans came out this September 18 to participate in the 36th Annual Terry Fox Run.

Along with the 17 volunteers, participants raised $2,739 to be put towards the Terry Fox Foundation, in it’s fight to cure cancer.

According to organizer Mike Taylor, last year’s run on Gabriola had 58 participants and raised $2,163.

Emcee Heather O’Sullivan took time before introducing this year’s ambassador to remember 2015 ambassador Jeff Molloy.

“Last year, I stood in front of you to introduce Jeff Molloy. A few short weeks ago, I attended his memorial.”

O’Sullivan said Molloy and his family personified grace, determination and courage, and were an inspiration to the entire Gabriola community.

“Jeff’s dispatches from the front lines of his battle with cancer were what hope sounds like.

“Nothing about cancer is easy, and nothing about it is fair. No one deserves it. And I am filled with admiration for those who, like Terry, and like Jeff refuse to give in or give up.”

Which brought her to introducing this year’s ambassador, Margot Kemble.

Three years ago, in 2012, Kemble was a participant in the Terry Fox Run on Gabriola.

“Three short years later, she finds herself on the other side; a cancer survivor.”

At the end of March 2015, Kemble received the news that she had Stage 3 endometrial cancer. She had surgery 2 months later, followed by chemotherapy in July and August and radiation treatment in October. 

O’Sullivan said, “Margo, I’m honoured to welcome you here to speak about your journey. Thank you for coming.”

Kemble said, “I am a cancer survivor, at least so far. Many people share my experience. 1 in 5 Canadians will at some point in their lives. 1 in 4 will die.”

She explained that two years ago, she was healthy, she was a runner, a skier, a regular at Lesley Standerwick’s conditioning classes.

“I had stamina to work long hours.

“If it wasn’t for the quick response and intuition of Dr. Tracey Thorne, for tests for what I thought were benign symptoms, I would be extremely ill by now. A diagnosis of Stage 3 Endometrial Cancer came as an extreme shock.”

According to Kemble, her medical team said she was an unlikely candidate for her type of cancer.

“I was just unlucky.”

Post-treatment, she says she is lucky to be on Gabriola, feeling very fit and healthy.

Kemble was there to see Terry Fox arrive in Montreal in 1980 as he made his way across Canada, having started in St. John’s Newfoundland.

When Fox arrived in Montreal, he had run 2,917 kilometers. 

“This at the time in 1980 was an unheard of accomplishment. This was before ultramrathons, before local triathlons and Tough Mudder. It was before government participation campaigns, fitness awareness. It was before the tobacco industry went down, and it was still a time when asbestos was still used and we were still exposed. Terry was a compelling story., it was coming to the attention of the nation, and it caught my attention.

“Who was this kid? He was the first disabled athlete I’d heard of. Who runs across the country?”

The most amazing thing about Fox though, for Kemble, even more so than his accomplishment of running as far as he head, “was that he didn’t do it for himself, he did it for us.

“We have all been effected by cancer, we all know people, and even our loved ones, so now I am very grateful to Terry.

“Before I was amazed, now I am grateful for what Terry Fox has done for all of us.

“Thank you for everyone for coming out to support this cause.”