Finish the run for Terry

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This past Sunday residents took to the streets to commemorate one of Canada’s greatest heroes.

The community’s annual Terry Fox Run brought in 12 runners, a dog and $677 for the campaign. Despite the small turnout, it won’t be the last one to play out locally, we hope, as schools will continue to host events over the coming weeks.

For those who crossed the finish line, we can’t help but pick up on the enthusiasm for the effort, especially among the younger crowd.

What is it about Terry’s journey that continues to excite the imagination 36 years later?

It’s hard to think that after all this time, Terry was just shy of 23 years old. Yet despite the discomfort, and at times the pain, of running with one leg, he kept moving step by step across 5,373 kilometres for almost five months.

What motivation and inner strength.

For kids running close to a dozen laps around their schools and communities, it might be difficult to get into the head space of a man diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Obviously one can’t really understand an experience until one goes through it.

Yet many of us have been touched by cancer. It might be a family member, a co-worker, a friend, a teacher, you name it.

Sometimes we’ve had to say goodbye, but before that we saw their courage and resilience in those uncertain and scary times.

As the Town of Westlock’s organizer Travis Darling put it, people want to “finish the run for Terry.”

But Terry’s not the only one. Let’s keep our loved ones and the loved ones of friends in our thoughts.

Since the inaugural run, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised over $650 million for cancer research and it shows. Survival rates for most — though not all — cancers have increased exponentially since 1981.

So if you haven’t managed to get out to one of the seven Terry Fox Runs happening this month, don’t fret. As of this edition only two have crossed the finish line.

If nothing else, it makes for a wonderful excuse to go for a nice walk.

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