Every year the Terry Fox Run helps people unite in the fight against cancer.
This Sunday, the run brought cancer fighters, survivors and those who support them together to raise money for cancer research. This year’s run – paired with a Toronto Maple Leafs training camp – featured live music, a free barbeque for participants and a guest appearance by Maple Leafs alumni Brad May, all in the parking lot of the Gale Centre.
Participants ran five kilometres and were allowed to use any method of transportation to complete the track, making it a non-competitive environment for cyclists, runners and walkers to share in one goal — keeping the fight against cancer alive and striving for the future.
Niagara Falls local Melodie Chalmers, who walked for the first time this year, knows the fight all-too-well. Her husband Tom died of melanoma after a six-year battle on Sept. 17, 2016 — exactly one year to the date of Sunday's run. For Melodie, it was only fitting to take to the streets and walk for those still fighting for a cure.
“Tom fought melanoma for six years, it was very brave battle until the very end when he ended up in hospice,” Chalmers said.
“We’re running for him. Today is the day, and it just kind of seemed right. We’re ready to do it now.”
Chalmers took on the run surrounded by “The Crazy Crew,” a group of friends and relatives running for Tom, including Chalmers’ two sons, Aiden and Conner.
“My brother and sister-in-law and their girls are here, and my friend Anna, who has been a great support through the whole thing — and they all loved him very much,” Chalmers said with heavy emotion. “Terry Fox. He fought and he battled and he started all of this.”
“This is a great tribute to him (Terry Fox), how every city has a run for him now and the people who are out celebrating him and all who go through cancer, he did a great thing… it’s nice to have a community event to symbolize the fight that everyone goes through.”
The Niagara Falls Terry Fox run raised $54,000 last year with roughly 600 participants.
The Terry Fox run donates all proceeds from their run to the Terry Fox Foundation, to help find a cure for all kinds of cancers. Thanks to efforts like these, over a half-dozen forms of cancer are treatable with a one-hundred per cent chance of survival over the first five years after diagnoses.