Marathon of hope

news: Marathon of hope

CANADIAN ambassador to Portugal, Patrick Parisot, recently launched the 10th Terry Fox Run in aid of the Liga Portuguesa Contra o Cancro (LPCC), the Portuguese league against cancer. Tomorrow (May 7), hundreds of runners will begin their 5km run at 11am, from the Parque das Nações in Lisbon, to raise much-needed money for cancer research.

It was in 1980 that bone cancer patient, Terry Fox, aged 22, astonished the world with his courage by undertaking a cross-Canada run called the Marathon of Hope. Fox was 18-years-of-age when he was diagnosed with a malignant tumour in his right knee. Doctors amputated much of his leg, giving him a 20 to 50 per cent chance of survival.

Fox succeeded in running from St. John’s, Newfoundland, through Canada’s Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario. The run ended on September 1, 1980, after 143 days and 5,373km, outside Thunder Bay, when a diagnosis revealed that the cancer had returned and spread. Fox died at the age of 22, in June 1981. He had managed to reach his initial goal of one million Canadian dollars for cancer research, but, by the time he arrived at his final destination, he had raised a staggering 24 million dollars (one dollar for every Canadian)!

Today, his brother Darrell runs the Terry Fox Foundation that has raised an amazing 360 million dollars worldwide for cancer research. In a recent visit to the Canadian Embassy, Dra. Manuela Rilvas, President of LPCC, said: “This run is a wonderful opportunity to combine physical sport with solidarity for cancer sufferers.” Portuguese Olympic athlete, Nuno Delgado, added: “I’m really happy that the Canadian Embassy has invited me to help promote and participate in the 10th Terry Fox Run for such a worthy cause.” Ambassador Patrick Parisot said that Terry Fox was an exceptional man, a source of courage and pride for Canadians.

Last year, 2,500 runners participated in the run, raising 30,000 euros, nearly five times the total raised in 1997 (6,400 euros). Those wishing to take part in the run should assemble at the Portugal Pavilion in Parque das Nações to sign in from 9.30am onwards on the day.

An account has been set up for donations: LPCC (NRS) Banco Espírito Santo, No. 044/02845/000.2. For more information on the Liga Portuguesa Contra o Cancro, visit Chris Graeme