The University of Calgary is having its first Terry Fox run with Terry’s College and University Student Engagement (CAUSE) on Campus, a fundraising effort for post-secondary institutions nationwide in honour of the Canadian legend.
Born in 1958 in Winnipeg, Man., Fox’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent amputation above the knee of his right leg did not slow him down. Instead, the 22-year-old vowed to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research in 1980. Using a prosthetic leg, he embarked on the “Marathon of Hope.”
Although he did not complete his marathon due to the spread of cancer to his lungs and his subsequent death, Fox became a Canadian icon for courage and determination. Fox ran over 5,000 kilometres.
A 2.5–5 km run will occur on October 12 at the U of C, and all proceeds generated by the event will go towards cancer research and the Terry Fox Foundation. Darrell Fox, Terry Fox’s younger brother and senior advisor of the Terry Fox Research Institute, will be in attendance.
Students’ Union vice-president academic and spokesperson for the event Kenya-Jade Pinto, said Fox is an inspiration to Canadians and students.
“Terry Fox was a first-year kinesiology student at Simon Fraser University when he was diagnosed with cancer. In his final year of university, he did the “Marathon of Hope” across Canada, and became a legend, inspiring people — not just in Canada — all around the world,” said Pinto. “His story tells students that we are able to overcome the challenges in life and become better people because of them.”
Terry’s CAUSE on Campus will take place at universities across Canada, including Carleton University, Dalhousie University, Simon Fraser University and McMaster University.
“[Fox’s] story of courage and hope has transcended so many things. It is a legacy that will last forever, and it is exciting to say that this is something that has been born out of Canada,” said Pinto.
Pinto hopes to make the fundraiser an annual event at the U of C.
“There are a number of different initiatives for cancer research we are showcasing this year. We will have a lot of different prizes for things like the most creative team.”
Registration tables were set up in MacEwan Student Centre from October 10–11. Participants can still register online at terryfox.org.
“We have an opportunity to celebrate this cause. The university recognized this was a community-building event that had the potential to bring students together to embrace what Fox’s miracle of hope created — courage,” said Pinto. “It hopefully encourages students to come together to be strong and resilient in the face of any adversity, in particular cancer.”
Fourth-year business student Alex Le is going to participate in the event as part of the Calgary Portfolio Management Trust, a business club on campus.
“The event is all about his spirit being on campus, the way it is throughout Canada. He was a student and embodies a lot of good virtues, like his perseverance against all odds and the way he succeeded beyond all expectations — that should represent a lot of our student body,” said Le. “It should challenge us to rise to the cause with the spirit of camaraderie and bring the student body together. We have to make sure his message gets out there and isn’t forgotten.”
According to Le, his club feels value in supporting Fox’s cause as a community. Le’s club sent out a letter to many student clubs and organizations on campus to generate an interest in the event.
“This is literally a case of us putting our money where our mouths are,” said Le. “We need to make more students aware, join the run, give back to the community and take leadership.”
Pinto encourages students to attend. Any student, club or university organization can register.
“It’s a great event and a way to get involved in something on campus that also goes back to the community,” said Pinto.