Abu Dhabi: Running, walking, on roller-blade, skateboard and even some with their dogs, participants from different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds were united yesterday morning on the Abu Dhabi Corniche for a worthy cause — the Terry Fox Run (TFR).
Abu Dhabi has proudly hosted this event for 15 consecutive years. The 16,000 participants on Friday raised Dh 165,000 for a worthy cause.
The Abu Dhabi Police band, a DJ, three cardio instructors provided a pre-run warm up, a band of drummers at the Sheraton U turn (half way) to motivate the runners, many volunteers and guests all came as solid supporter to the run.
The Run was held under the patronage of Shaikh Sultan Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Advisor to President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Sultan Bin Nahyan started the race, and encouraged the huge crowd on this inspirational day. Terry Fox Run (TFR) is a "push to the entire humanity to fight this disease, a reflection of strong will and perseverance," he said to Gulf News.
"My presence today is nothing compared to Terry's action. I promised myself to participate in this run next year. I will gather friends, family, actors, poets, and as many celebrities to take part in the run," Shaikh Sultan told Gulf News.
"I have a friend suffering from cancer, this gathering is a message of hope and strength to him," he further added.
Regarding his participation Kenneth Lewis, the Canadian Ambassador ,said to Gulf News "The TFR is part of the Canadian society across Canada and the world. I took part in the run in six different countries, and am delighted to see such a crowd in Abu Dhabi"
"My job is to ensure that the money raised is given to the right people. Researchers propose projects but only the internationally approved ones by four evaluators are funded. The beauty of cancer research is to find new molecules, a new understanding to control cancer growth and provide treatment at an early phase," said Dr. Charles Leduc, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine in the UAE University.
When Terry Fox was diagnosed in 1977 having a bone cancer he had 30 to 40 per cent chance of surviving, today he would have had 90 per cent chance and no amputation would have been necessary that is how this marathon of hope was vital in cancer researches according to Breeda McClew from the International Terry Fox Foundation.
From participants perspective Colina said "We are from Canada, my mother died of cancer";
"Am part of this run because I am a cancer patient survivor", said Dana an American Univeristy in Dubai student;
"It's an initiative, we started last year to help the community;" "one of my friends suffered from breast cancer, I think everybody is pretty much scared of cancer," said Anisoara and her friend.
Ali an 11 years old student said "I have done it for seven years to support cancer research, my grandmother had cancer."
Did you participate in the Terry Fox run in Abu Dhabi? Do you know anyone suffering from cancer?