Joanne Olson is thrilled her eyebrows are back.
Recently diagnosed and treated for ovarian cancer, Olson gave a moving speech about hope to a crowd at Hammond Stadium during the 32nd annual Terry Fox Run on Sunday.
“I quickly learned that the most important thing a person who has been diagnosed with cancer can have is hope,” Olson said, her voice breaking with emotion.
“The Terry Fox Foundation has given people like me hope. That’s why I’m here for this run today,” Olson added.
“I just want to tell you that I got my eyebrows back last week and that was just the greatest thing,” she said.
This year the Terry Fox Foundation is providing $5 million for ovarian cancer programs that are geared towards changing the way ovarian cancer is diagnosed.
One in four woman are resistant to today’s form of chemotherapy and a better understanding of the disease will help deliver a more individualized form of treatment, explained Olson.
It has been 32 years since Terry Fox attempted to run across Canada in his Marathon of Hope and for 32 years the annual Terry Fox Run in Maple Ridge has continued to grow.
Terry was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma and his right leg was amputated above the knee.
On April 12, 1980 Terry began his Marathon of Hope, a run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He covered 5,374 kilometres over 143 days before the cancer returned and forced him to stop running. That was Sept. 1, 1980. He died the following year on June 28, 1981.
However, before he died Terry started something that has grown well past what he could have imagined, said Terry’s brother Fred Fox.
Fred, who lives in Maple Ridge, told more than 850 people at Sunday’s run that Terry would be proud of the support that is still generated for cancer research.
In fact, the local run raised $34,000 this year, doubling last year’s tally.
“The weather always helps, but we always say it doesn’t matter what the weather is, Terry ran in snow when he left Newfoundland, and the rain and heat of Southern Ontario,” Fred said.
Ernie Daykin, the mayor of Maple Ridge, hoped that everyone would take a moment to think about why they were participating in the Terry Fox Run.
“Cancer affects everyone of us. We lost my mom in March to leukemia. I don’t think there are many people here who haven’t been affected by cancer,” said Daykin.
Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters thanked the entire Fox family for sharing Terry’s legacy.
“Thank you to the entire Fox family, for sharing Terry with all of us and for opening your hearts to allow all of us to become part of your family. Because that is how we all feel. Terry was a part of all of us, to be sure. He was our son, brother, nephew, and friend and whether the Foxes wanted it or not Canada became their family, the world became their family,” Walters said.