A statue of Terry Fox, a young man who wanted to make a difference (courtesy of Alex Guibord)

Terry Fox Run is a time to remember

Four Seasons Hotels helps host the annual charity drive

This Sunday, Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts will be hosting the 33rd annual Terry Fox Run.

The run was inspired by a young man who wanted to make a difference and find a cure for this deadly disease known as cancer.

One of the places where you can participate and be a part of this event is at the Wilket Creek Park on Leslie Street just north of Eglinton. 

The walk starts at 8:30 a.m. and finishes at 2:00 p.m.

There will be many celebrities in attendance including Hilary Farr, Sheila McCarthy, Debra McGrath, Colin Mochrie, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynn and Fred Fox, brother of the late Terry Fox.

The founder and chairman of Four Seasons, Isadore Sharp is the founder of the Terry Fox Run. 

Sharp and his company were involved in Terry’s initial run. 

When Terry could no longer continue due to the cancer spreading to his lungs, Sharp told Terry that they would hold a run in his honour until a cure had been found. 

That promise has been kept ever since.

“There’s over 200 run sites in Ontario. Our run site and all run sites are all organized by volunteers. There is no corporate sponsorship,” said Jonathan Selman who works IT for Four Seasons and has been involved for 15 years with the Terry Fox Run. 

“It’s an event open to anybody and there is no registration fee, so it’s very much in the spirit of what Terry started 33 years ago,” said Selman.  

Very little has changed.

“Every dollar that’s raised goes directly to the [Terry Fox] Foundation. At any run site in Ontario including our own, none of the money that’s raised goes to pay for the event.  Everything at our run site is donated.  We have over 50 contributors. That’s kind of an overall [number] of what we’re doing and what you can expect to see from other run sites in Ontario,” said Selman.

Looking back at what Fox started, and what he was determined to do, continues to inspire. 

To run 26 miles per day, his goal was initially to raise one million dollars through his Marathon of Hope program. 

He later changed his focus to raise one dollar for every Canadian and in 1980, that would equal $24 million.

The Terry Fox Run reminds us how cancer has affected our lives either directly or indirectly. 

We have seen loved ones suffer because of the illness and some have recovered and some have lost the battle. 

Fox not only battled cancer but he saw firsthand what it can do.  He ran for his individuals.

The event allows people to come together to celebrate in the hope that there will be a cure someday.

“Every year is a memorable moment for me because all I see is just happy faces and when the weather is great it even makes us happier,” said Sandra Grdovic, who has been on the committee of Four Seasons for nine years.

“It’s just seeing so many people in the park, just coming out and having a good time and to me every year that’s a memorable moment,” said Grdovic.

Fox left a legacy that can never be forgotten or duplicated. Using his athletic gifts, he faced the elements of nature and ran.  He led by example. 

Even if nobody, at first, knew he was, they quickly found out what he was fighting for.  And thanks to volunteers and companies like Four Seasons, the battle continues for a cure.

“I just wish people would realize that anything is possible if you try. Dreams are made if people try,” said Fox in his message immortalized by drive and determination.