It’s been 38 years since Terry Fox ran his Marathon of Hope, but his inspiration continues to live on, as around 300 people in Regina came out Sunday morning for the annual Terry Fox Run.
Natalia Chorney, 15, and her 18-year-old sister Tianna volunteered at the event for the first time this year. While their bond is close, it became even closer last year after they were diagnosed with thyroid cancer just one day apart.
“It was very overwhelming. I was more concerned with her at first because I was the protective big sister,” Tianna said. “The doctors couldn’t believe that it could be two sisters at the same time.”
But together they endured it all, and today the pair are cancer free, although they will continue to get tested every six months for the next three years.
“(Terry Fox) didn’t want to give up, and that’s really inspiring because it will get better — at least it did for us,” Natalia said.
“The whole experience really drove us to volunteer and want to help other people,” added Tianna.
Nearly 40 years ago, Fox ended his Marathon of Hope on Sept. 1, 1980 just outside of Thunder Bay, Ont., after running on an artificial leg for 143 days and covering more than 5,000 kilometres on his journey across the country.
This year, more than 750 Terry Fox Runs were held across Canada on Sunday as his dream of raising money and awareness for cancer research continues to live on.
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“Two years ago, Regina hit the $1-million mark so (the city) has raised over $1 million, and now we just look forward to the next million, and we will keep going until no one has cancer,” committee member Jade Gritzfeld said.
Like Tianna and Natalia, Gritzfeld is also a volunteer and a survivor. She fought her battle with cancer nearly 14 years ago.
“That whole year, when I watched movies about him I kept thinking back to when I saw him do it in 1980, and it made it even more personal for me,” Gritzfeld said.
Even though Fox died in 1981, his spirit and determination continues to live on, and to date, more than $750 million has been raised for cancer research by the Terry Fox Run.