Consul General of Canada to kick off 21st Terry Fox Run in Mumbai
Every year, thousands of children from across the city gather at Marine Drive to raise cancer awareness and support for research into the prevention and cure of childhood cancer. Inspired by Terry Fox’s original Marathon of Hope, the run is hosted by the Terry Fox India Committee and supports the Tata Memorial Hospital for Cancer Research here in Mumbai. Over the past twenty one years, Terry Fox India has raised crores in support of the Tata Memorial Hospital. Together they have developed research that has impacted the lives and futures of several children suffering from cancer. This year’s run will take place on Sunday, February 3rd at 7:30 am opposite the Air India building and will be kicked off by Annie Dubé, Consul General of Canada in Mumbai. The chief patron, Mrs Amruta Fadnavis will be felicitating the run this year.
Terry Fox was a Canadian athlete who was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma (bone cancer) and forced to amputate his right leg at the tender age of 18. The prognosis the doctors offered him was poor and this was only due to a lack of research into treatments for cancer. Being faced with such a life altering diagnosis, Terry decided to turn his story around to raise money and awareness for cancer research. He decided to run across Canada and thus began a journey called “Marathon of Hope”. Terry died before he could complete his run as the cancer spread to his lungs and his health deteriorated rapidly thereafter. But by the time he passed away at 22, Terry Fox had raised over CAD 23 million for cancer research. Today Terry Fox’s legacy has raised funds in support of cancer research and hundreds of children are now given treatments that have been made possible through our research.
The first Terry Fox run in Mumbai was started twenty one years ago with the help of Sanjiv Choudhary, the Vice Consul for Canada, and Leopold Cafe, a famous and well-known restaurant in Mumbai. 350 children from the Cathedral School assembled at Priyadarshini Park and raised a total of INR 7 lakhs for cancer research at the Tata Memorial Hospital. Since then, the run committee has expanded to include principals from various schools across Mumbai, film and media personalities, corporates, banks and several more. For years, Leander Paes, Abhishek Kapoor, Keith Sequiera and Rochelle Rao have all stood with the Terry Fox India Committee to find a cure for cancer.
Today, the run is a city-wide event with nearly 50 schools participating this year to raise funds. 100% of the proceeds and pledges from children participating in the run are sent directly to the Tata Memorial Hospital. These proceeds have been used to fund a variety of research into childhood cancer. The projects have ranged from research into new radiotherapy techniques that minimize negative health effects to specialized genetic research into various childhood cancers.
In the early years of the run, only 2 out of 10 children would be able to go back home fully treated. Today, 8 out of 10 children are able to go home and live out their dreams. The Terry Fox India committee envisions a day when all 10 out of 10 children who are treated at Tata Memorial Hospital will be able to go home to their families.
“I am very proud to be part of the 21st Terry Fox Run in Mumbai. I would like to congratulate the Terry Fox Committee for their continuous efforts in making the “Marathon of Hope”, a run dedicated to raising money for cancer research for kids here in India, such a success. The Terry Fox Run in Mumbai is one of the largest of its kind in the world. Terry Fox was a courageous young Canadian, diagnosed with bone cancer in 1971, who decided to raise money for cancer research by running across Canada. He ran on average a marathon every day for 143 days before the disease claimed his life,” said Annie Dubé, Consul General of Canada in Mumbai.
She added, “I am excited to continue the legacy in Mumbai which began twenty one years ago, with my dear friend the Canadian Vice Consul Sanjeev Chowdhury kicking off the first run. This close collaboration of the Mumbai Terry Fox committee and Tata Memorial Hospital has been commendable and we hope that everyone will continue to join hands and run toward a cancer-free future for our children.”