On Sunday, Sept. 17, at the Langley City Terry Fox run, Aldergrove resident Tanya Vroom brought a granite plaque with an image of Fox that used to belong to her late husband, Doug Grafstrom.
“He passed away six years ago of cancer, and I just felt that it was time to donate it to the Terry Fox foundation,” Vroom told the Langley Advance Times.
“I feel like it would be put to a good use.”
She couldn’t recall where Doug, a dedicated collector, obtained the plaque.
”He just came home with it,” Vroom said.
“He really loved it.”
Vroom was one of an estimated 200 participants in the annual event that began and ended at Douglas Park.
The Terry Fox run is getting underway in Langley City's Douglas Park pic.twitter.com/xRNZnazlcu— Langley Advance Times (@LangleyTimes) September 17, 2023
Murrayville resident Gary McGregor, 75, a volunteer for more than 20 years, called Fox an “amazing inspiration.”
Like many particpants in the event, cancer was a personal matter for McGregor.
“I have two sisters that are having end of life challenges,” McGregor confided.
Another volunteer, Aldergrove resident Jason Baker, estimated he and his wife have been working on the annual run for many years.
“We all have people in our lives that battled against what we’re running for here right now,” Baker remarked.
He said he has lost an uncle, and parents, to cancer.
“So this is a good cause. And if you look at the structure of how the Terry Fox run is done, it’s really just done for cancer research and it’s not for profit.”
It was one of two Terry Fox Runs scheduled in Langley. The other was in Walnut Grove.
As of Sunday in Langley City, 114 people had donated 4,880 toward a $10,000 goal.
At the Walnut Grove event, 31 people had raised $2,680 toward a $7,000 goal as of Sunday.
Mr. Bubbles was awarded the Dave Hall volunteer award at the Terry Fox run in Langley City's Douglas Park pic.twitter.com/W3Aec65f6R— Langley Advance Times (@LangleyTimes) September 17, 2023
At the City event, “Mr. Bubbles,” who has been providing entertainment at the run for years with balloon sculptures, stilt-walking and other kid-friendly activities, was presented with the Dave Hall award for volunteer of the year.
It was presented by Hall’s wife, daughter and two grandchildren.
Hall, a late Langley City councillor and community volunteer, was a staunch supporter of the local Terry Fox Run., who passed away of cancer at the beginning of 2016.
Terry Fox dipped his prosthetic leg in the Atlantic Ocean on April 12, 1980 to begin his Marathon of Hope. He completed 5,373 km before he was forced to quit about five months later, when his cancer returned.
This year, the annual Terry Fox Run took place in more than 650 communities across the country.
The Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $850 million, and is a leading national investor in cancer research.
READ ALSO: A mother’s story