In the footsteps of Terry Fox

By Miriam King, Bradford Times

A record number of walkers, runners, joggers and cyclists turned out for this year's Terry Fox Run in Bradford, on September 18. Organizer Elsie Silva Kniff called the response, “Awesome!”

Over 400 participants came out for the Run, gathering beside the BWG Public Library & Cultural Centre, where a bouncy castle was set up for the kids, along with refreshments and a BBQ, as DJ Rockin' Rick of Wayne Jones DJ services kept the music going.

Special guests included a princess from The Ultimate Character Experience, and Jimmy the Clydesdale from Dreamwinds Equine Assisted Learning Centre, 'spokeshorse' for the Bradford Terry Fox Run and equine cancer survivor.

Silva Kniff noted that Terry Fox ran through Bradford West Gwillimbury on his 1980 Marathon of Hope; the Bradford Terry Fox Run “keeps his hope alive that some day 'the hurting will stop'.”

The Run is unique. There is no minimum donation, no entry fee, no competition. Participants give what they wish, and all of the money collected at more than 9,000 community events taking place on September 18 will go to the Terry Fox Foundation, which has raised over $700 million and funded over 1,200 cancer research projects, towards Fox's dream of a cure for cancer.

Everyone has been touched by the disease. “I am here for my grandmother, who passed away from colon cancer,” an emotional Silva Kniff told the crowd, as well as for an aunt and her Godmother, both cancer survivors - and all of the friends, family members and colleagues who are fighting cancer, or who have lost their battle.

This was the 36th year for the Terry Fox Run. Bradford's first Run was held in 1996, but there was a break in 2005, due to a shortage of volunteers. It was Elsie Silva Kniff who revived the Run, and now she and her team help the community come together to remember Terry Fox, walk in his footsteps, and raise money to “make the hurting stop.”

The Bradford Terry Fox Run raised $5,655 online even before the start of the Run. Donations are still being tallied.