St. Marys Journal Argus
“You ask anybody. There’s probably somebody in their family or someone they personally know who has either battled cancer or lost their life to it,” St. Marys resident Van Galen commented, when asked why he and his Terry Fox Run organizing committee counterparts continue to be inspired by the Canadian icon.
The local version of the annual event takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14, once again with a start/finish area at the historic Junction Station on Glass Street. Van Galen and his sister Arlene Callander, who lost her husband Jack to cancer, are the long-time organizers, and this year they’re joined by fellow St. Marys resident Lauren Eedy.
The Run — or walk, or roll, whatever is appropriate — is held in honour of Terry Fox’s famed attempt to cross Canada on a body wracked by cancer. The foundation set up in Fox’s honour prides itself on spending as much money as possible on research to find cures for cancer, and on being run totally by volunteers like the St. Marys trio.
Callander hands over a recent newsletter from the foundation, detailing how Toronto biophysicist Dr. Brian Wilson launched a research program back in 1982 with funds raised through the original Marathon of Hope.
“Fast forward 33 years and, today, Dr. Wilson is considered a pioneer in his field,” the newsletter reads. “Now, at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, (he) is leading a new research project funded by The Terry Fox Foundation in 2013. His work has now come full circle.”
Callander says knowing that her efforts are helping continue the work to find cures keeps her motivated to continue organizing the annual St. Marys event.
Pledge sheets for completing the 5-kilometre course, which follows the Grand Trunk Trail across the scenic Sarnia Bridge trestle into the town’s West Ward before returning on the same route, are available at the St. Marys Public Library, the recently-relocated office of Van Galen’s Sun Life Financial branch at 12 Water Street South, the St. Marys branch of Scotiabank, and at the St. Marys Journal Argus. Collect pledges, then come to the Junction Station any time throughout the day to complete the course at your own speed.
An added attraction this year is a Hot Dog Barbecue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., sponsored by Sun Life Financial. And the recent Terry Fox Foundation newsletter promises that the event’s 2014 souvenir t-shirt “includes the full text from Page 1 of Terry’s private journal, the first time the page has ever been shared publicly.”