Sunday, Sept. 16 is the annual St. Marys version of the Terry Fox Run/Walk/Stroll, and organizing committee members Arlene Callender and Don Van Galen have issued an open invitation to the citizens of St. Marys and area to come and participate.
Events get under was at 9:30 a.m., with registration taking place at the Junction Station. From there, participants will head out along Glass Street to the Grand Trunk Trail. The route — which can be completed at your own time, on your own schedule, through to 3 p.m. — will take participants across the Sarnia Bridge Trestle to Ingersoll Street, and then back to the Junction Station. All trails will be marked.
For millions of people worldwide, Terry Fox is the face of cancer research. His Marathon of Hope inspired a country, and beyond. And the annual Run named in his honour, now in its fourth decade, continues to motivate people here at home and abroad to raise money for cancer research.
In 2011, the Terry Fox Foundation directed $27.5 million to its cancer research programs. Among the initiatives supported by the funds from the Run/Walk/Stroll are:
• Live viruses are used to sense the genetic difference between a tumour and a normal cell. When the virus finds a tumour cell, it replicates inside that cell, which kills it, and then it spreads to adjacent tumour cells to seed a therapeutic “chain reaction.” Researchers have found a way to shortcircuit these rescue systems so that tumour cells go straight to their termination and, most importantly, healthy cells stay intact. This triggering effect also works with some common chemotherapeutics that are used in cancer clinics around the world today.
• Researchers have discovered a single gene mutation is associated with several unrelated cancers that have never been linked before. They sequenced and analyzed the genomes of ovarian, testicular, and uterine tumours. They expected to find specific and distinct abnormalities but, instead, they found the same mutation showing up again and again in these different types of cancers. This raises the prospect of therapies being designed around the molecular nature of a tumour rather than where it appears on the body.
“This certainly is exciting research that is taking place, and it is all because of Terry Fox Run/Walk/Stroll participants like you and I,” said Callender. “We hope to see you at the Junction Station on the 16th.”