Like all charities that rely on physical events to raise money, COVID-19 has presented challenges for the Terry Fox Run, too.
“This year, we decided to carry forward Terry’s spirit of trying by making the event virtual and not cancelling it because of the ongoing pandemic,” said Ara Sahakian, interim executive director at the Terry Fox Foundation, in an interview with IT World Canada. “Cancer isn’t waiting for the pandemic to end and neither can we. Even with the additional challenges Canadians are facing, we need to remain committed to supporting cancer research this September. For us, the encouragement on the day itself is – one day your way. So, participate in whichever way you feel comfortable that day. We want you to experience it your way – with your family or other people in your bubble, or at your favourite run or walk location.”
To keep cancer research funds flowing, the foundation has special 40th-year anniversary merchandise available for sale on its website, and it also created the Terry Fox Run challenge, which can be accessed via Movespring, to keep participants engaged on the day of the virtual event. Users can set goals, monitor progress, and challenge others to meet certain targets. Participants can now access the app here.
“We wanted something tangible for people to connect on the day of the event. So that’s why we looked at various technology options early on, and decided to launch this app,” explained Sahakian.
The Terry Fox Foundation was founded with a dual mandate to maintain Terry’s vision and principles while raising funds for cancer research. The Foundation relies on a volunteer corps 20,000 strong to lead the charge on the ground organizing more than 9,000 Terry Fox fundraising events every year in Canada and around the world. With more than $800 million raised and 1,300 innovative research projects funded, the foundation says it is clear that people of all nationalities, ages, backgrounds and abilities are determined to take Terry’s Marathon of Hope across the finish line
“We cannot step back from our mandate to fund ongoing and future cancer research projects. Anything is possible if you try – was Terry’s rallying cry and it has been ours too,” said Fred Fox, Terry’s brother, in an interview with IT Business Canada. “With every challenge we have faced this year, we looked to Terry’s words for inspiration to help us innovate and give us the courage to find solutions and try new things. The Terry Fox Virtual Run. One Day. Your Way. is our response to this challenge. We are asking Canadians to do it their way to be creative, have fun, get inspired and continue to raise money for cancer research.”
The official run takes place Sept. 20. People can register to the run and donate to The Terry Fox Foundation by visiting https://terryfox.org.