Dubai: More than 8,000 people participated in the Terry Fox Run in Dubai on Friday dedicated to the global fight against cancer.
More than Dh200,000 in donations were collected yesterday at the 19th Annual Dubai Terry Fox Run not including pledges of donations still to come.
The event was held at its new location in Dubai Festival City.
The run, which raises funds for cancer research, saw participants take part in one of two runs, the 4.2km or the 6.2km run.
Participants can run, walk, rollerblade or bike. The Terry Fox Run is the largest single day fundraiser for cancer research in the world honouring Terry Fox, a young Canadian and bone cancer patient who ran across Canada for 143 days with one leg amputated, completing 5,373 km before he died in 1981.
Terry Fox Runs are organised in cities all over the world each year.
The Dubai Terry Fox Run has generated over seven million dirhams for cancer research in the UAE since it was first run in Dubai in 1994. To date there have been 42 researches in the UAE supported by the funds raised by the run.
Judith Fox Alder, Terry Fox’s sister and the International Director of The Terry Fox Foundation told Gulf News that, “It’s almost overwhelming to think that Terry, one person, one Canadian had started something so small — it was just him and his friend Doug Alward, when they started their ‘Marathon of Hope’ to raise money for cancer research and to know now that we are in 30 countries and that I am now here in Dubai, participating in a Terry Fox run.It’s just overwhelming. It’s surreal and it’s a really proud moment.”
“Everything you see here is all volunteering, they do not have a budget, every single thing is donated, including my flight and accommodation to come here and say thank you to people for their support,” Judith added.
Ara Sahakian, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the 2013 Dubai Terry Fox Run, said that there were “around 300 volunteers here and 15 committee members.”
Arif Rashid, a volunteer committee member said that he has been volunteering for almost 10 years. “Terry Fox is always a huge volunteer magnet. We have kids and adults from all walks of life...”
“Terry Fox has become a legend in Dubai… you have kids that have grown up with the Terry Fox Run. They have been part of this as volunteers with their friends and now they are sponsoring people. It has become part of the fabric of society” Rashid added.
Nadeen Ghalwash, 17, a student from Deira International school, said she was running to raise awarness and funds for cancer research. “Terry’s run is an inspiration for me as a student and for someone to run and raise awareness for a very important cause is overwhelming for me.” There were around 60 participants and volunteers from Deira International school.
Last year the event attracted more than 5,000 participants and raised over Dh180,000.