Watch Professor Chris Bakal’s message as an ambassador for the Terry Fox Run.
Terry Fox, a university athlete who lost his leg to osteogenic sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, made headlines in 1980 when he ran 3,339 miles over 143 days to raise awareness and money for cancer research.
Dubbing it the ‘Marathon of Hope’, Terry had planned to run across the country from Saint John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, to Victoria, British Columbia. But he had to stop sooner than anticipated at Thunder Bay, Ontario as the cancer had spread to his lungs. He died less than a year later, aged 22.
He’s now considered a Canadian hero and each year fundraising runs are held across Canada in his honour. To date, over £500 million has been raised worldwide.
This year, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope, the UK will join Terry Fox Runs all over the world on Sunday 20 September for a virtual run, walk or bike ride to support the ICR. The event is free to enter, non-competitive and open-to-all. No official results will be recorded but participants are encouraged to share their run via social media.
‘Every donation keeps our research going’
Professor Chris Bakal leads the Dynamical Cell Systems team in the Division of Cancer Biology at the ICR. His research aims to understand how cells change shape to become cancerous and spread to other parts of the body.
He was born in Canada and as an ambassador for the Terry Fox Run, says he hopes as many people as possible will take part virtually:
“This event will go directly to supporting our work at the Institute of Cancer Research
and such support is always needed, but in particular during these trying times.
“I remember when Terry started his Marathon of Hope 40 years ago and even as a young kid, I was amazed by how superhuman this guy was. He inspired me both as an athlete, and as a scientist, and redefined the idea of what one person can do to change the world around them.
“Every donation keeps our research going. Cancer hasn't been self-isolating, so we need to continue our work with even greater resolve and dedication to making life-saving discoveries to defeat cancer.
Joining forces to inspire and educate
Neil Johnson, Chairman of the UK Terry Fox Association said:
“We are excited to have partnered with The Institute of Cancer Research, a world-class cancer research organization with academic excellence in cancer discoveries for over 100 years.
“Together we join forces to inspire and educate everyone in the UK about Terry Fox’s legacy and mission to raise money for cancer research, while keeping the money in the United Kingdom for the ICR’s important work.”
Register to join the Terry Fox Run UK