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Hundreds lace up as the Terry Fox Run returns to Calgary

A supporter cheers people on as they approach the finish line at the annual Terry Fox Run at Fort Calgary on Sunday Sept. 18, 2022. Craig Momney / Global News

For the first time since the pandemic, the Terry Fox Run returned to an in-person event on Sunday in Calgary.

The Terry Fox Foundation’s biggest in-person fundraiser was moved online in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. However, organizers say despite the two-year hiatus, this year’s event saw an increase of more than 400 participants at Fort Calgary since it was last held in 2019, now in its 42nd year.

“Not only is 42 a significant number, that is coincidentally the number of kilometres Terry would run on an average day, which is just mindboggling,” says event organizer Paul Cox.

Many in attendance wore shirts depicting the face of Terry Fox as well as the names of family and friends affected by cancer.

One of those names was Dan Mitchell.

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“Doing fine so far, it’s all good,” says Mitchell.

Read more: Terry Fox run returns to Montreal with new and familiar faces

Mitchell was diagnosed with colon cancer this past June. Since then, he says the cancer has been removed and is “basically gone.” Now he’s currently undergoing chemotherapy.

“It’s made me feel like there’s people who’ve got my back,” says Mitchell.

“It’s been nice to feel like people care and helping out and doing good things in the neighbourhood,” he adds.

Cancer survivor Patty Loades wore the name George on her shirt. George was her father who passed away after a battle with Leukemia. She says her mother isn’t doing well in her battle with pancreatic cancer.

“You know I miss my dad and my mom’s going and I’m running for them because they’re in my heart and my spirit,” says Loades.

Since the Terry Fox Foundation was formed, it’s raised more than $850 million for cancer research worldwide through various fundraising events, including the annual run.

Wrestling legend and cancer survivor Bret Hart, who was also in attendance on Sunday, says there’s no better way to bring awareness to the disease than the annual run, and believes researchers may be close to giving cancer the boot.

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Peterborough Terry Fox Run raises more than $25,000 for cancer research – Sep 18, 2022

“When is this finally going to end, how much money can you raise until you beat cancer?” said Hart. “But I know we’re on the threshold right now of actually turning the corner and finally defeating cancer forever.”

Organizers say this year’s Calgary event has so far raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars, and that number continues to grow.

Although Fox died in 1981 after he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at 18, his name continues to be synonymous with cancer research. And it’s the legacy of Fox, Hart says, will live on forever.

“Terry Fox will always be, as far as Canadian heroes, the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be,” says Hart.

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