Frances Summerhill said one of her biggest regrets was missing Terry Fox when he ran through Toronto for his Marathon of Hope in July 1980.
Summerhill, who is now honorary chair of the Sudbury Terry Fox Run, compensated for that lost opportunity by dedicating her time to the charitable event for the past 30 years. For half that time, she has helped the Sudbury Terry Fox Run grow every year.
“I came to recognize that Terry Fox is a national hero,” she said.
Organizers expect more than 400 people to participate in this year's fundraiser for cancer research at Bell Park on Sunday, Sept. 14.
Teams can choose to run or walk routes ranging from one to 10 kilometres in length.
Over the last 34 years, Sudbury's Terry Fox Run has raised more than $500,000 for cancer research.
Worldwide, more than $650 million has been raised in Terry Fox's name since he started his Marathon of Hope on April 12, 1980.
Fox ran through Sudbury on Aug. 4, 1980, but had to end the Marathon of Hope of Sept. 1 of that year, just outside of Thunder Bay, when his cancer spread to his lungs.
He died on June 28, 1981, at the age of 22.
Summerhill said even young children she meets know about Terry Fox thanks to their parents and school curriculums, that describe his accomplishments.
She said the committee for this year's run features two high school students – one from Sudbury Secondary School and the other from École secondaire du Sacré-Coeur – who will encourage their peers to participate in the run.
Thanks to that influx of young people, Summerhill said she expects to surpass the $40,000 raised at last year's run.
The goal for this year, she said, is to raise $45,000 for cancer research.
Registration for the run starts at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 14.
For more information about the run, or to sign up as a participant, visit www.terryfox.org