Sunday, September 10, 2006

Terry Fox in Ankara

The 26th Terry Fox Fun Run for Cancer Research took place in Ankara today. I joined the occasion in METU Campus woods. Running Track was for about 8 kilometers

Canadian Ambassador to Turkey Yves Brodeur initiated the run at 12 hours.

Who was Terry Fox? Terry Fox was a young Canadian diagnosed with bone cancer in 1977. While in hospital to have his right leg amputated, Terry was so moved by the suffering of cancer patients that he decided to run across Canada to raise funds for cancer research.

In 1980, Terry embarked on his ambitious journey, running an average of 42 kilometers every day for 143 days. Terry Fox died after a courageous battle against cancer, but his spirit lives on.

Every year "Marathons of Hope" are organized around the world to keep Terry's dream of finding a cure for cancer alive. In 2005, over $37,000 was raised in Turkey.

Before Terry died, he knew that an annual event would be held to commemorate his Marathon of Hope. It would be called, appropriately, The Terry Fox Run.

The first Terry Fox Run in 1981 attracted 300,000 participants across Canada and raised $3.5 million. To date, more than $400 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry's name.

Each year, thousands of volunteers organize Terry Fox Run events in Canada and around the world.

In Canada, the annual Terry Fox Run is held every September, usually on the second Sunday following Labour Day. In countries outside Canada, the Run is organized at a time that is convenient for organizers.

The Run is a non-competitive event where people get together as individuals, families and groups to raise money in Terry’s name. It is a day of celebrating Terry’s legacy and helping to keep his dream of a cure for cancer alive.

There is no entry fee and no prizes are awarded, although a certificate of appreciation is given when participants complete their journey. Run locations are organized in large urban areas attracting thousands of people and in small, rural communities where just about everybody knows each other. School events tend to be incorporated into the daily curriculum.

The emphasis of the event isn’t on how much you raise, but that you participate in Terry’s memory and help him finish his Marathon of Hope.

As Terry said in 1980:

“If you’ve given a dollar, you are part of the Marathon of Hope .”

I purchased a t-shirt, and met with many of my past business colleagues.

It took 90 minutes for me to complete the 8 km running track.

Next time hopefully in less than 90 minutes.

Next week, on 17th September Sunday, it is going to be held in ITU Campus in Istanbul.