The entire school was on the move at Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay last Friday for the annual Terry Fox Run, with cross-country runners leading the pack. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Sunny skies for Terry Fox Run

Queen Charlotte and Masset runs raise nearly $3,000 for cancer research

Leighann Rodger saw Terry Fox run the first Marathon of Hope in 1980, only she can’t quite remember it.

Mostly that’s because she was a baby in her mother’s arms back in Oakville, Ontario.

Also, her mom didn’t have a camera handy.

“I said to my mom, ‘Did you take any pictures?’ and she said no. That’s about the story of my life!”

Today, Terry Fox’s story is known worldwide, and over $700 million has been raised for cancer research in his name — far surpassing his original goal of raising $1 for every Canadian.

And Haida Gwaii does its part.

Rodger helped organize this year’s Terry Fox Run in Queen Charlotte on Sunday, which has been going since 1986.

As principal of Sk’aadgaa Naay Elementary School, she sees a new generation learn about Fox, who was 21 and an amputee when he started his cross-country run from St. John’s, Newfoundland. He averaged 42 km a day for 143 days until his cancer spread to his lungs, cutting his own run short near Thunder Bay, Ontario.

That part can be tough to speak about with the youngest students, but Rodger said kids catch on quick to the amazing goal he set. At Sk’aadgaa Naay, kindergarteners to Grade 7s all run a there-and-back route, and every one can do as many laps as they want to. Schools on the islands each host a run in the lead-up to the weekend community events.

In Queen Charlotte on Sunday, some ran 10 km from the community hall toward the ferry landing, while others did 5 km, walked, or rode bicycles.

Up in Masset, Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay teacher and cross-country running coach Christine Cunningham had the high school team start out first — for them, this year’s 6.2 km Terry Fox run around the Delkatla Wildlife Sanctuary was the first in a series of Sunday runs leading up to this year’s northwest zones championship.

Masset firefighter Sylvan Daugert had the firehall BBQ going for everyone when they looped back from a crisp run in the woods. Lunch came courtesy of the Haida Gwaii Co-op, which provided food and drinks for the Q.C. run as well.

All told, the Queen Charlotte run raised $1,615 and the Masset run raised $1,296 for cancer research through the Terry Fox Foundation. Eighty two cents of every dollar raised will go directly to research funding.

“It’s a really good cause,” said Rodger. “And any time you see people out exercising and having fun it’s a good thing.”

MassetQueen Charlotte

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Fast-footed fundraisers get set for the Terry Fox Run in Queen Charlotte on Sunday. (Susan Wright/Submitted)

The GTN cross-country team was first off the start line in Masset. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Vanessa Bellis gives a helping hand in Masset. (Archie Stocker Sr./Haida Gwaii Observer)

Just Posted

Two new bridges to be built along Highway 16 between Port Clements, Tlell

Ministry of Transportation says $5.4-million project expected to be complete in fall 2020

‘Now Is the Time’ doc will start streaming on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Film featuring Haida carver Robert Davidson will launch June 21 for free on NFB website

Haida Gwaii couple frustrated after Air Canada cancels flight, denies compensation

Mike Racz says another passenger received $1,000 while he was only offered e-coupon and promo code

Haida Gwaii teachers heading back to empty classrooms on June 1

SD50 working with CHN following May 21 request to keep school closed until state of emergency lifted

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

VIDEO: Green Coast offers free kayaking to Haida Gwaii residents

First “pop-up paddle” held Monday, May 25; free community paddles expected to continue weekly

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read