In 1980, Terrance Stanley “Terry” Fox – a one legged amputee and cancer victim – embarked on a cross-Canada run in a quest to raise money and awareness for cancer research. The Canadian athlete, turned humanitarian and cancer research activist, lasted 143 days and completed 5,373 kilometres before succumbing to the disease. All was not lost.
His one selfless act has left a mark up till today to inspire millions around the globe who have come together since 1981 to fulfil his dream. Today, The Terry Fox Run is the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research, covering an expanse of over 60 countries with more than C$500 million raised.
Organised by the Canadian Association of Singapore in conjunction with the Singapore Cancer Society (SCS), The Terry Fox Run 2012 saw over 2,700 supporters – an increase from 1,200 in 2011 – turn up in full force at Playground@Big Splash to honour the man’s legacy. (The event made a comeback in 2011 following a long hiatus.) It’s rather reassuring to know that the spirit of generosity is still very much alive in funding cancer research, evident by the S$90,000 cheque presented to SCS by His Excellency, David Sevigny, Canadian Ambassador to Singapore.
“I always feel very honoured to participate. First and foremost, I appreciate that I am still healthy and I can do this as part of the charity drive. And certainly, I’m one of the supporters for The Terry Fox Run and I’ll continue to participate every year.” says Stuart Seah, 45, Aerospace Professional.
Not just the Gen X segment but Gen Y too as Fox’s story continues to touch the hearts of young adults such as Zilah, a 22-year old student. “Well, at first I don’t really know much about him but I asked around and made friends and they like kind of told me the story behind him running just for the sake of like cancer society.”
As this was a non-competitive event, runners could choose between a 10-kilometre run or 5-kilometre run/walk. Families were out in full force with some even bringing along their pets to join in the festivities. Upon finishing, cookies, packaged apples, Starbucks beverages, and chilled bottled water proved to be a deserving reward for all participants.
While the 2012 race season picks up the pace, its causes like these that provide the icing amongst the list of personal bests and medals which we are fairly certain runners will rake in by the numbers. For not everything in life should be counted by the seconds shed off the clock but the seconds added to ill-stricken victims stemmed from our small acts of support…