The Terry Fox Foundation is all about a single dream: to find the cure for cancer. It is an organization like no other, completely independent from the Canadian Cancer Society or any other cancer fundraising association.
Its mission is to maintain the vision and principles of Terry Fox while raising money for cancer research through the annual Terry Fox Run, banquets, and memorium donations.
This year was the 34th annual Terry Fox Run and the 32nd in Sarnia. There are over 9,000 Terry Fox events each year and they are all volunteer-led and organized. These runs have been a miracle, donating 85 cents of every dollar to cancer research.
To date, over $600 million has been rasied for cancer research.
This money has gone towards new knowledge and technology with has contributed to a reduction in the percentage of individuals who succumb to the disease.
One of these survivors is Sheila Fitzsimons, who was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago.
She did not let this disease put her down. Instead, she was determined to show that cancer would not define her.
Two of her close friends had helped her take on the fight. One, being a cancer survivor herself, gave books to read and "ìnvaluable practical advice." The other sent flowers, e-mails, anything to keep her going.
She gives big thanks to the cancer team in town and in London for listening patiently, answering all her questions and helping to make a decision about her treatment.
Sheila was a teacher at the time and when she explained to her class what was happening, they all gave her prayers, hugs and faith.
"The simple faith of these seven-year-olds and the loving support of my fellow teachers, family and friends helped me to face the biggest challenge of my life," expressed Sheila.
One of her former students, whom she taught in grade eight is Justin Huybers, who could relate to the situation since his own father died of cancer. They caught up during this year's Terry Fox Run, both strong supporters of the fight against cancer.
After countless visits to doctors, routine check-ups and a final operation, Sheila did it. She beat cancer.
She says that she owes it all to Terry Fox and his dream. "Thirty years ago I might not have survived. But thanks to all the new cancer research being done and getting new technology, I am here today to give hope."
Sheila believes even after cancer has been beat, people will still so the Terry Fox Run as a memorial and tribute to the man who has changed so many peoples' lives.
It is up to us to help others and continue to help "Terry Fox's belief in miracles come true."
Tags: breast cancer, cancer, cancer survivor, cancer team, cure for cancer, family and friends, fitzsimons, hope, raising money, Sarnia, sheila, simple faith, survive, Terry Fox, terry fox foundation, terry fox fun