The first-time organizer of the Langley City Terry Fox Run is no stranger to cancer and all the damage that comes along with it.
Marg McGuire-Grout’s dad, Michael, lost his battle with the disease in 1992, her mom, Kathleen, was a breast cancer survivor in the 1980s and a good friend to Marg and her husband, Drew, died in his early 50s from pancreatic cancer.
McGuire-Grout’s mom was living in Montreal at the time and her doctor was pioneering lumpectomies, where surgery in which only the tumor and some surrounding tissue is removed.
Kathleen was one of the first Canadian patients to undergo a lumpectomy and after six weeks of radiation, was cancer free.
With her family history and having those so close to her affected by cancer, 60-year-old McGuire-Grout was more than happy to take on the challenge of spearheading the Langley City run, after longtime organizer Lilianne Fuller opted to take a break this year after five years of success putting the fundraiser together.
A Langley resident, McGuire-Grout read about the need for an organizer in a local newspaper article and said to Drew, “I should do this.”
A week later, after meeting with Donna White, the provincial director of the Terry Fox Foundation, McGuire-Grout decided to tackle the role.
“Almost everyone you talk to has some kind of a connection to cancer, be it a family member or a friend,” McGuire-Grout said. “So many people have stories to tell about their connection with cancer. It rings true for most people.”
Living in Toronto in 1980, McGuire-Grout remembers the excitement when Terry Fox made his way through the City during his Marathon of Hope.
“Young people weren’t around when he made his run so it’s great that his family is able to keep his cause alive,” McGuire-Grout said. “There are kids in kindergarten and in Grade 1 learning about Terry Fox and getting involved in the run.”
As for her own involvement, McGuire-Grout said “it’s a lot of work,” to a point where she thought, “what did I get myself into?”
She has a health and fitness background and has put together other runs and fitness fairs in the past, but nothing of this nature.
But she’s very excited to be working with what she calls “a great group of volunteers,” with about 12 people on the organizing committee.
The Sunday, Sept. 20 run starts and finishes at Douglas Park with registration starting at 9 a.m. and the run getting underway at 10 a.m.
The nice thing about the run, McGuire-Grout points out, is the fact that people can just show up, register, make a donation, and walk, wheel, or run routes of one-, five- or 10-kilometres, depending on how ambitious they feel.
“It appeals to any fitness level; you can walk it, people do it in wheelchairs, and you can run it, as well,” McGuire-Grout said. “It’s a family event. There is no registration fee, it’s all by donation. Come in, register, and donate.”
Included in the event is entertainment, clowns, facepainting, and puppy-pedicures at this dog friendly event, all at Douglas Park.
As well, the gals from Jazzercize will lead a warm-up just before the walk/wheel/run gets going at 10 a.m.
There will also be a concession set up.
For those who wish to raise money through pledge forms, they are available at the Douglas Recreation Centre and Timms Community Centre.
McGuire-Grout stressed that there isn’t a donation that’s too small.
“Just take part and keep Terry’s spirit alive,” she added.
Volunteers are needed, and for more information on how to help out, or the event itself, call McGuire-Grout at 604-360-3118.