Terry Fox Run is about more than just running

Jane Reddington

Sounder Staff

Tuesday, September 27 2016

In last week’s column I wrote about training for the Terry Fox Run. It went so well that I had to write about it again because I crossed the finish line in 1 hour and 10 minutes and was actually able to speed up in the last two kilometers. 

But the best part was that my husband and my children decided to run too. As a family, we all completed the run, with my son, 11, finishing first in the 8 and 5km loop and my daughter, 9, finishing the 10km loop. As I ran down the hill back to Twin Beaches from the final Decourcy Loop I started to cry. My whole family and lovely friends were there cheering me on, clapping and waiting for me.

I am such a lucky girl. I have my health, and my family and a beautiful life on Gabriola. At the end of the event, my children enjoyed the chocolate milk and cinnamon buns provided by The Village Foods, I ate orange slices, and talked with other runners who seemed just as happy as I was to complete the race.

Perhaps best of all were the stickers you could wear on your back. They read, “Terry ran for you. Who will you run for?”

I wrote the name of my friend’s mother, who died on Mother’s Day this year from breast cancer after fighting colon cancer. It made me think about being able to do a run like this, to get outside in the fresh air and to think of my friend’s courage in the face of cancer and how much her mother loved her and her three beautiful children, all under the age of seven.

It’s a small thing to write someone’s name on you back and run for them. It’s a small thing to remember people that have passed and their families and the struggle cancer brings into each of our lives.

But on the day of the Terry Fox Run, cancer didn’t win out. We won. There were words for Jeff Molloy, who recently passed from cancer, and we all had to fight the tears a little to hear how bravely he fought. Margot Kemble of Architrave spoke about her recent struggle with cancer and how early diagnosis played such a huge role in her treatment and recovery.

Like Terry Fox, like my mother’s friend, all of us were standing together to fight for life. How lucky we are to not be in hospital fighting for our lives. How lucky we are to be able to run, walk or cycle in the sunshine on a fall day with the light breeze while our children play soccer in the grass and wait to be called to the start line.