Terry never gave up hope and remained positive. I would encourage any cancer patient to do the same, Judith says. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Participants at this year's Terry Fox Run will have an extra treat this year, as Terry Fox's sister, Judith Fox-Adler, will be on hand to lend her support during the 15th anniversary of the Terry Fox Run in the capital.

"I would like to thank everyone for their support in helping to raise money for cancer research as well as to keep Terry's memory alive, especially the volunteers who give their time tirelessly…words can't describe how grateful I am," said Judith, who is also the International Director of the Terry Fox Foundation. "Since 1991, $65m was raised from Terry Fox Runs around the world," she added.

According to Breeda Mclew, a member of the foundation, the reason for the overwhelming success of the Runs that are done outside Canada is because of how inspiring Terry's story is.

"His story is so full of hope… it's such a universal story because cancer is an indiscriminate killer. All the money raised during the international runs stay in the host country, which means that all the money raised here remains in the UAE to fund cancer research. Abu Dhabi has been leading the world for last few years in terms of participation and revenue," she said.

Last year, more than Dh5 million was raised from the Terry Fox Run in Abu Dhabi, and so far Dh4 million has gone into various research projects conducted by the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the UAE University.

"Three grants have been funded by the money we received. The grants looked at different methods of treating cancer as well as how to improve the quality of life for cancer patient," said Dr Charles Leduc, Associate Professor, Family Medicine, UAE University.

At the moment, there is only one hospital in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Tawam Hospital, which is managed by Johns Hopkins, which provides treatment for cancer patients.

"It's good to centralise treatment to one location because it helps to raise the quality of treatment being given to those with cancer, especially since some forms of cancer are so rare. When equipment and people are placed in one location, the experience will be concentrated in one place, which will lead to better treatment outcomes," Dr Leduc explained.

"The Terry Fox Run is not a race so every participant is a winner. We are now in our 15th year and have come a long way since we had our first run in 1995. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support, and we hope to see everyone at the run on Friday," Farid Dabaghi, Chairperson, Abu Dhabi Terry Fox Committee, said.

All you need to know
Day: Friday February, 19th
Time: Registration begins at 8am and the event will start at 10am
Venue: Event will kick off from 30th Street (Khaleej Al Arabi) on the Corniche to the car park near the Corniche Hospital, and back.
Getting around: People can walk, run, roller-blade or skateboard, and the course is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, but cycling will not be permitted due to safety precautions.
Expected number of participants: Over 15,000