Abu Dhabi: They came with family, friends or individually, with rollerblades, strollers, wheelchairs, pet dogs or their own two feet to the 14th Annual Terry Fox Run.

This year's event was inaugurated by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Sultan Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan and Sara Hradecky, the Canadian Ambassador to the UAE on Friday, February 20, 2009. Over 15,000 people took part in the highly successful event that donated its funds to the UAE University's Cancer Research Programme.

A total of Dh150,300 was raised in cash donations in just one day.

Idyllic pink balloons floated in the bright blue sky as people warmed up with the Abu Dhabi Ice Falcons hockey team and were entertained by The Empty Quarter, a local Canadian band at the car park of the Sheraton Hotel and Resort, which was transformed for the event.

"The turnout is great, given the economic climate. People are still feeling very passionate about cancer research. "I lost my younger sister last year to breast cancer so I'm particularly touched by it," Pam Simmons, Co-Chair of Corporate and Group Sub-Committee of the Terry Fox Run Organisation, said.

People of all backgroundscame to honour Terry Fox, a Canadian who ran 42 kilometres every day in an attempt to run across Canada to raise awareness about cancer after he was diagnosed at 18 with bone cancer in what he called 'The Marathon of Hope'. He died on June 28, 1981. On September 13 1981 and ever since, the Run is held all over the world to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.

"I actually saw Terry Fox run in person in 1980 when he ran through my hometown. I've been a regular participant in the Run ever since and I do it in the memory of my friends who had passed away from prostate cancer," Paul Richardson, a Canadian expatriate, said. Roland Grant, a consultant, decided to participate in a rather unconventional way.

"I've been riding my unicycle to raise money for cancer in the UK for over 30 years. But even though I moved to Abu Dhabi five years ago, this is my first participation in the Terry Fox Run to my shame," he laughed. Farid Dabaghi, Chairman of the Terry Fox Run Committee read a touching email from Terry Fox's sister thanking everyone for their support.

Do you know any other events that support unique causes? What are they? Have you paticipated in any such events? What would prevent you from participating?

Your comments

I am very proud to know about the Terry Fox Run. However, I never used to know about it, as the news comes only on the day of the run. I would not be ready and able to go for it. I would like to know the location, time, etc. before before hand. It would be highly appreciated.
From A Reader
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: February 21, 2009, 13:02