Kylie Bechberger from Toronto walked a total of 500 kilometres before Sunday’s Terry Fox Run. Bechberger, like many others, has been dedicated to the run and has loved ones who have been affected by cancer.
“I think for me, it was just like a goal that I could set for myself that’s realistic but is also pushing me out of my comfort zone,” said Bechberger, 32, when asked about her motivation behind walking this distance.
Bechberger, who works at a film distribution company, hoped to raise $500 for 500 kilometres. Instead, she went on to raise over $1,200 between the months of May to September.
Terry Fox became an inspiration after planning to run halfway across Canada to raise money for cancer research with an artificial leg. He died in 1981 after doing the first Marathon of Hope in 1980. Now, yearly runs are held all over the world to honour his unbreakable spirit and raise money for cancer research.
It’s the 40th year of the Terry Fox run. This year’s run took a virtual route with their “One Day Your Way” initiative due to the pandemic. Despite this, one run organizer said the turnout has been strong.
As the run site organizer for Cedar Brook Park in Toronto, Rebecca Worden believes that community is a big aspect for the longevity of the run.
“Coming back to Scarborough and being involved in the Scarborough run has really brought me back to my roots, ” she said, adding she has also lost loved ones to cancer. :And you see the same people every year coming and the same volunteers. So it’s definitely a nice community feel for sure.”
Bechberger and Worden have been friends for over six years with Worden, 35, organizing the run for three years while working full time as a manager at a major Canadian bank.
“I played baseball with her,” agreed Bechberger. “That’s how I met her through a friend. Ever since then, we’ve just been really good friends.”
Listen to Kylie Bechberger explain to reporter Lithia Anil why she ran 500 kilometres for Terry Fox:
Their friendship stands as an example of the relationships that the run builds as these two friends lean on each other for support and are each other’s biggest cheerleaders.
Worden participated in the virtual run on Sunday with her family at Cedar Brook Park, while Bechberger went on to walk another eight kilometres at Cedarvale Park, near her home.
“We don’t set a goal, we want people to donate whatever they can,” said Worden, when asked if there was a set goal this year that she hoped to achieve.
Even though no on-site runs were held, according to the official Terry Fox run website the virtual run raised more than $4 million nationally. Last year the run at Cedar Brook Park raised $30,939.50 while this year they raised $29,424 with 186 fundraisers.