Volunteers turned out to raise money and awareness for cancer research at the College of the North Atlantic, Qatar (CNAQ) yesterday, where people of all ages and nationalities took part in the annual Terry Fox Marathon of Hope.
The fundraising event was attended by around 600 people, who ran, walked, skated and cycled the 5km course yesterday morning.
Terry Fox was a young Canadian who was diagnosed with bone cancer as a teenager, and decided to run across Canada to raise funds for cancer research. Unfortunately he had to stop running after travelling around 3,300 miles because cancer had spread to his lungs. Fox passed away in 1981 at the age of 21, and people across the world have been participating in marathons of hope since his death, helping to raise more than $500mn for cancer research.
The chairperson of the organising committee, Eleanor Kenny, told Gulf Times that she had been a little disappointed with the blustery weather conditions, which may have put some people off attending the fun run. However, she said that she was pleased to see that those who attended had been particularly generous in their donations, and that the event had raised a good amount for cancer research.
Kenny has been involved in every Terry Fox run held in Qatar, and took part in her first run in Canada when she was helping out at her children’s school many years ago. As well as her commitment to the cause, she has a personal connection to Fox’s story as her own father had to have his leg amputated following an injury sustained in battle.
Kenny said that the money raised by the run would be donated to cancer research efforts in Qatar, as part of the Terry Fox foundation’s international work.
This year, the organisers requested that participants wear any t-shirts that may have been made for past runs, and the selection of shirts on display gave an indication of the large range of places where Doha’s volunteers have been involved in Terry Fox runs in the past.
She thanked everyone who took part in the run, and expressed her gratitude to the Four Seasons for their continued support.
The hotel sponsored the event, providing food and beverages for volunteers. The hotel company has been intimately involved with the Marathon of Hope since founder and CEO, Isadore Sharp made a commitment to Fox to support the run until a cure for cancer has been found.
Public relations manager of the Four Seasons, Nehal Maher, said that the hotel was delighted to be involved in the annual fundraiser for the eighth time.
“We are very proud to sponsor the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope in 2012,” she said, adding “this year we were also able to celebrate the first National Sports Day at the same time.”
The organisers said that they were currently looking into the possibility of holding the run on the National Sports Day next year, allowing people to come out and take part in an outdoor sporting event for a good cause.
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