After Bridget Keroglidis lost her mother to cancer a year and a half ago, she got involved with the Beaches Terry Fox Run.
“I wanted to be able to do something, so that less people have to go through what I went through, saying goodbye to their loved ones to soon,” Keroglidis said .
She became a volunteer event organizer at the Beaches Terry Fox run for the past two years, connecting with her community by continue Fox legacy .
Canadians are familiar with Terry Fox’s story and his decision to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research in the Marathon of Hope. But, for Terry, losing his leg to cancer did not disable him. Instead it enable him to start a journey that would change and inspire people all around the world.
Every year, the Beaches Terry Fox Rum takes place at Woodbine Beach Park, to continue Terry Fox’s legacy of raising funds for cancer research. This year the event took place Sept 17.
The registration started at 8 a.m and continued with a dance warm-up by the Beaches Dance and Music Studio.
The run began at 9 a.m. and, while some chose to run, others walked. Others with less ability were able to join the boardwalk with walkers, wheelchair and strollers.
“We are fortunate our site at Woodbine Beach is already very accessible for runners, walkers, cyclists, people using wheelchairs and people pushing strollers,” said Keroglidis. “Last year we had a 80-year-old lady that completed a 5k with her walker.”
Dear Terry, thank you !
For the 43rd anniversary of the Terry Fox run, the #Dear Terry campaign asked people to submit in a letter how they’ve been inspired by Terry Fox and his legacy. The Idea was based on all of the letters that people wrote to Terry while he was doing the Marathon of Hope.
“There are so many things that I would tell Terry but I think the biggest one would be dear Terry, thank you for inspiring us all and for helping us see that even one person can make such a huge impact in the world,” said Sara Parker, who has attended the Beaches run for seven years, previously with the company of her mother and grandmother who both died from cancer.
Enduring legacy around the world
Terry Fox was an active teenager involved in many sports, like cross-country running and basketball. At 18 years old, Terry had to have his leg amputated 15 centimetres (six inches) above his knee after being diagnosed with Osteosarcoma a type of bone cancer that begins in the cells that form the bone.
Fox believed that a car accident where he injured his right knee in November of 1976, made him vulnerable to the disease. But Osteosarcoma tends to occur in children, teens, young and older adults.
After his illness, Fox founded the Terry Fox foundation to raise awareness and donations for cancer research in 1980. He ran a total of 5,373 kilometres across six provinces in 143 days, from April 12 to Sept. 1 in 1980 with what came know as the Marathon of Hope.
But the cancer returned and Terry had to stop the marathon and a couple months later he died in June of 1981 at the age of 22.
According to the Terry Fox Foundation, more than 60 Terry Fox runs are every year around the world, in countries like Canada, Brazil and Vietnam.
The Beaches Terry Fox run had a goal to raise $120,000 for cancer research and was able to to pass $96,000 on the day of the run.
“I know a lot of money tend to come in after, because the donations are still coming in all the way till the end of the year,” Keroglidis added.
Canadian celebrities like Ryan Reynolds joined the movement and shared their letters and words to Terry in their social media.
“I’ve been taking part in the Terry Fox Run since second grade and can’t think of a more enduring and lovely legacy for one person,” Reynolds said in a statement on his Instagram.