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Terry Fox Run in Cuba
Terry Fox Run in Cuba

Terry Fox Run flourishes Worldwide

Sean Mitton, Canadian Expat Network
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It's been 28 years since Terry Fox began the Marathon of Hope. Since then, over $400 million has been being raised for Cancer research. On Sept. 14th, thousands of people across Canada will take part in the annual Terry Fox run.It's a day that celebrates Terry's legacy and hopefully brings us a step closer to his dream of curing cancer. In an interview with Terry's sister, Judith Fox-Alder, I learned a lot about Terry Fox Runs Internationally, as well as the recent find, the van Terry and Darrel Fox used during the Marathon of Hope.

Fox-Alder recently took over the position of International Director of the Terry Fox runs. She takes over from Breeda McLeew who played an important role over the past 27 years in educating, organizing and supporting Terry Fox runs all over the world. Over the years,these runs have been organized and supported by Canadian Embassies/Consulates, Canadian Forces Bases, Anti-Cancer Councils and Societies as well as other dedicated organizations and individuals.In 2007, Worldwide there were 2.6 million participants raising $2.3 million dollars in 29 countries. Some of the largest participating countries include Cuba, UAE, Vietnam, China, Italy, Malaysia and Croatia to name a few. In addition to the runs, many locations "shave their head for Terry" to raise funds.

Fox-Adler spoke about the tremendous support from Cuba. In fact, they had over 2 million participants which is remarkable for a country that has just over 11 million people. There's a terrific article that was written by Leslie Scrivener, feature writer from The Star and also the author of "Terry Fox his Story". You can read more about how the Cubans embraced the Terry Fox story in this article.

The big story this year was the finding of the Ford Econonoline van used for the Marathon of Hope. Brother Darrel Fox had asked famous Canadian author, Douglas Coupland to keep an eye out for the van after writing a tribute book to Terry in 2005.For the last 8-9 years, the van had been used by Heavy Metal band "Removal" which has toured around North America.  Pettie Fong writes a piece in the Star about how the vehicle was found.

After Ford Motor Co. had restored the van, which took over 1,000 hours, Darrel Fox is leading a trip that will mirror Terry's journey, calling it the "Tour of Hope". The journey started on May 25th in St.John's Newfoundland and will visit 50 communities across Canada and has returned to B.C. for the Sept. 14th run. For Fox-Adler, the van brings back a lot of memories, as she took part in the tour traveling from Montreal to Markham,Ontario. Check out their blog.

The Terry Fox story is a great reminder of hope, faith and persistence as represented thru a true Canadian hero that can be shared with the world.

Click here for pledges to the Terry Fox run.

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