Runners, walkers, cyclists and rollerbladers set off from North Shore Park in Port Elgin for the 38th annual Terry Fox Run.

Hub Staff

The sun shone down over North Shore Park in Port Elgin on September 16 as 119 people gathered to participate in the 38th annual Terry Fox Run raising a total of $18,608 for the Terry Fox Foundation and cancer research.

Fitness Corner and Fitness Corner South owner Holly Vanderzwet, who has organized the event for the past 21 years, said that almost half of the money raised had been raised online. “We raised $9,000 online before we even started, so that was a good start,” she said.

Master of Ceremonies Geordie Farrell told participants that she was involved in the first Terry Fox run 38 years ago and made it her goal to participate every year. “The [Terry Fox] story intrigued and inspired me then as it does now,” she said, adding that to date over $800 million has been raised through Terry Fox runs. “Remakably 82 percent off all money raised goes to cancer research, every kind of cancer. No other organization commits to that massive of a percentage," she said.

Farrell spoke of a camping trip she took with her husband last September along a good portion of Terry's run route. “When we got to the northern shores of Lake Huron and then Lake Superior we were truly amazed by the incredibly hilly terrain. Terrain that Terry ran daily on one leg,” she said.

The pair had stopped at the Terry Fox monument, located east of Thunder Bay where Terry was forced to stop his run. “It was an incredibly powerful experience to be there to see the huge statue of Terry Fox and share the feelings with other people who had stopped by to pay tribute to the Canadian hero," she said.

Later into their trip Farrell and her husband spotted a man running with one leg, and using crutches, along the Trans-Canada Highway east of Calgary. They stopped to talk with him. His name was Guy Amalfitano and he had travelled from France to run across Canada. “He started on the same date in April that Terry had started on and from the same location in Newfoundland but, unlike Terry, he had not been forced to stop," explained Farrell.

He told Farrell that he had been diagnosed in France with the same kind of cancer that afflicted Terry and at the same time Terry was doing his run. He had been lying in a hospital bed feeling sorry for himself when he found out Terry was running across Canada. “Once Terry was forced to stop Guy, the same age as Terry, promised himself he would one day run Terry's route and pay tribute to Terry to keep going all the way to Vancouver and the Pacific Ocean." Farrell explained that Amalfitano completed his run in November.

Terry's Team member and guest speaker, Lora Robinson, a breast cancer survivor who grew up in Port Elgin, spoke to participants of her experience. “My cancer story began in October 2012 at the age of 32,” she said, and explained that only two days after being diagnosed she was further shocked to find out that the preferred treatment would be a mastectomy.

In addition to chemotherapy treatments in Owen Sound, Robinson had to have 33 radiation sessions at the London Health Sciences Centre. She said it was a lonely process having to live away from home to participate in daily treatments. “This really made me appreciate the health care resources that are available in our local community,” she said. “Through local fundraising events we've seen incredible enhancements to the Southampton emergency room and the Owen Sound cancer care unit to improve cancer treatment and provide a more comfortable environment for patients and caregivers.”

Vanderzwet put participants through several warm up exercises before they headed out running, walking, cycling and rollerblading to keep Terry Fox's dream alive.

Geordie Lora

Master of Ceremonies Geordie Farrell (left) and Terry's Team member and guest speaker Lora Robinson at the Port Elgin Terry Fox Run September 16.


Organizer Holly Vanderzwet (centre) stands with some of the day's volunteers and Grade 9 students, from left, Megan Burkhart, Darragh Billings, Jasmine Smith and Halina Przyybysz.

North Shore

The sun shone down over participants as they gathered at the North Shore Park September 16 for the 38th annual Terry Fox Run.

Warm up

Fitness Corner owner Holly Vanderzwet put participants through a variety of warm up exercises before they headed out for the Run.


It was the first time at the Port Elgin event for father and daughter duo Marcel and Emily Levesque from Tara.

Kirk Samantha

Kirk Gottscheu, Samantha Schwier and Copper were ready to participate in the 38th annual Terry Fox Run September 16.


Rollerbladers Terri Middleton and Clark Frampton were ready to hit the street.


Volunteers were busy as they registered participants who raised over $18,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation September 16.

Rough Idea

Rough Idea entertained participants as they arrived at North Shore Park in Port Elgin to participate in the Terry Fox Run.