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Cloudy day doesn’t stop 300 from participating in Campbell River’s Terry Fox Run

Sally Feist, who is battling cancer, led participants in warm-ups for run

It wasn’t exactly sunniest, or even warmest late summer day.

But, the participants in Campbell River’s Terry Fox Run on Sunday (Sept. 17) weren’t going to let overcast skies ruin the important day in raising funds for cancer research.

After all, Terry Fox famously said “I’m not a quitter.” Neither were the people who came to Frank James Park.

“We’re expecting around 300 people to attend,” said organizer Dr. Tanya Flood. “We had 50 sign up online ahead of time. We certainly have some community members struggling and facing cancer, and are in the fight of their lives.”

With 40 volunteers, including members of St. John Ambulance and the Carihi Secondary Sports Leadership program taking part, participants lined up to jog, walk run and bike the two and a half kilometres from Frank James Park to Rotary Park along Campbell River’s coastal Sea Walk. They then turned back to head to Frank James.

READ MORE: Campbell River resident shares fond memories of Terry Fox and Marathon of Hope

There were snacks and refreshments for the individuals who took part. Also, as part of the #DearTerry write-in campaign, those who partook also were encouraged to write postcards and place stickers on themselves for who they were running for. Postcards would go to the Terry Fox Foundation, while a poster was set on the picnic table for individuals to write those friends and loved ones who were affected by cancer.

“I lost my dad a few years ago to cancer,” said one runner, Donna Desmet. “I saw what the struggle and what people go through. So anything I can do to fight cancer, I will.”

The poster will be put on display at Discovery Foods in Willow Point.

It was a particularly important warm up for members of the local River Spirit Dragon Boat Team: Sally Feist, who has led warm ups for everybody who takes part in the run. She is a 22 year survivor of breast cancer, and this past spring, she had learned the cancer had returned.

“It’s a very emotional day,” said Dragon Boat team captain Karen Chapell. “We’re going to step up and lead the warm up for her.”

However Feist, in what was truly an emotional moment, made her way down to the start of the run, and was there. She led the team, and the crowd in a dance, before being embraced by her teammates.