The Marathon of Hope continues on Ward’s Island

Ward’s Island participants in the Terry Fox Run among the most successful fundraisers in Ontario

Ward's Island Terry Fox
Jordan Hill, the Ward Island organizer, standing on a platform giving a speech before the marathon starts. Sunday Sept. 15, 2019.

The Terry Fox Run on Ward’s Island reached new milestones Sunday as the residents not only were celebrating Terry Fox’s accomplishments but also celebrating half a million dollars of funds raised for cancer research.

For Jordan Hill, the head of the Ward’s Island Terry Fox Run, it would be his 10th year as the organizer since 2009, where he first took over. Hill stayed motivated for an entire decade because of how the run originally started.

“My [late] mother was a big Terry Fox fan and actually was active in the community,” Hill said. “The Marathon of Hope is always the big thing and the standard is always the same.”

The local run was founded by Hill’s aunts, Jennifer and Marie Metcalfe, the twin sister and the older sister of his mother. They launched the run in her honour in 1998, and Hill took over in 2009.

According to Marie Metcalfe, her late sister was an inspiration.

“She used to be the one who organized the school Terry Fox Run,” Marie said. “A number of us, my friend Judy Frosch and I, decided we wanted to host the Island run in her honour.”

Listen here for the interview with Marie Metcalfe.

Despite being a small community with roughly 650 island residents, the event itself has raised $500,000 in funds for cancer research. It is in the top three community races in all of Ontario in 2019, when it comes to raising funds per person.

One of the families that showed up in support of the Terry Fox Run was a family of three, including young son Koan. They formed a team with five other members of their Shaolin kung fu school. It’s been a tradition for the past three consecutive years.

“There were eight of us today,” Ann said. “We are here in memory of Koan’s grandmother, and some close friends of ours, who passed away from cancer and we just loved coming here because it’s a great community.”

As for the 40th anniversary coming up in September 2020, Hill’s team plans to surpass their highest amount of $45,000 raised back in 2014, with a goal of $60,000.

Terry Fox embarked on an East to West cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research, after losing his right leg to Osteogenic Sarcoma in 1977. Fox ran approximately 42 kilometres each day regardless of the weather – freezing rain, strong winds, and even snow. For the 2019 Ward’s Island Terry Fox Run, it became evident that heavy rain was not going to stop participants from taking part in the annual tradition whether it was running, walking, biking or rollerblading in honour of Fox.

“From Terry Fox’s perspective what sets this apart is this is a Canadian hero, an international known individual, so to have the privilege of representing Terry Fox is very easy to win people over in a sense or at least people connect to the purpose of the run,” Hill said.

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Posted: Sep 15 2019 1:25 pm
Filed under: News