September 17, 2023, marked a special day in Port Coquitlam as the annual Terry Fox Run brought the community together. This event was not just about running but about hope, courage, and determination. Volunteers, including newcomers from SUCCESS Tri-Cities, joined hands to share Terry's inspiring message and give back to their community.
Under the clear blue sky, the atmosphere was charged with anticipation. The weather was perfect—neither cold nor hot—an ideal day for a marathon. Runners gathered, ready to embark on a resilience journey, and the excitement was palpable. It was a day to celebrate life and cherish every step.
The 20 newcomer volunteers from SUCCESS, hailing from diverse backgrounds and cultures, had one common goal: to cheer on the runners and bring smiles to everyone's faces. Armed with hand clappers and noise makers, they chanted slogans like "Big G Little O" and "Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey, are you ready? GO, GO!" The camaraderie among the newcomers was heartwarming, giving them a sense of belonging and purpose.
As the runners set off, it was a diverse group, spanning all ages, genders, and even a few four-legged friends. The volunteers cheered relentlessly, encouraging each and every participant, including the dogs who proudly kept pace with their owners. Their enthusiasm was infectious.
One memorable moment was when a toddler, nearing the finish line with tears in his eyes, saw the cheer squads. His crying turned into a joyful smile, a testament to the power of encouragement. The volunteers had made a difference, an invaluable achievement, not just in the marathon but also in a child's mood.
Throughout the event, the newcomers continued to cheer with unwavering dedication. The organizers expressed their gratitude for their spirited support. In Port Coquitlam, the birthplace of Terry Fox, this group of newcomers stood as the sole cheering team, and they were honoured to be there, carrying forward Terry's legacy.
Terry Fox's words resonated today: "It took cancer to realize that being self-centred is not the way to live. The answer is to try and help others." Terry's unyielding determination to make a difference inspired the runners and those who cheered them on.
The Terry Fox Run serves multiple purposes, promoting healthy living, philanthropy, and community engagement. It's a tradition that brings people together to honour loved ones affected by cancer and raise vital funds for research.
One volunteer shared their connection to the run, saying, "I have participated in the Terry Fox Run since I was young. My participation started after we lost our grandmother to breast cancer. Ever since I haven't missed a year. My family in each generation has been affected by cancer and lost loved ones since my grandmother's death, and I want to see an end to it."
Participating in the Terry Fox Run allows people to follow in the footsteps of a Canadian hero. Terry's example of never giving up on his dream continues to inspire. The runs are organized entirely by volunteers, ordinary individuals motivated by Terry's legacy.
As the day concluded, the volunteers from SUCCESS Tri-Cities knew they had contributed to something greater than themselves. They celebrated life, spread hope, and continued the Marathon of Hope, started by Terry Fox.