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Record set at Belleville’s Terry Fox Run

Over 300 people gathered at this years Terry Fox Run in support of cancer research. Photo By Makala Chapman/InQuinte

Over 300 people gathered at this year’s Terry Fox Run in support of cancer research. Photo By Makala Chapman, InQuinte

By Selena Steele-Clough  [1]

BELLEVILLE– Belleville’s annual Terry Fox Run [2]broke a record and raised more than $30,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation [3].

It beat the previous mark of $29,946.87, set back in 2000, by nearly $400. About 300 participants joined the run at West Zwick’s Park [4] on Sept. 18, one of 22 different Terry Fox Runs in the Quinte region.

In 1980, Fox first started his cross-Canada run known as the “Marathon of Hope” [5] in effort to raise $1 from every Canadian for cancer research.

Decades later, millions of Canadians have raised over $650 million for cancer research through the Terry Fox Foundation. The annual run has taken place for the last 36 years.

Taylor Bertelink poses for a picture at Loyalist College on September 20. Photo By Selena Steele-Clough QNet News

Taylor Bertelink enjoying her time at Loyalist College in her photojournalism program. Photo By Selena Steele-Clough, QNet News

Taylor Bertelink, a 20-year-old photojournalism student at Loyalist College and a cancer survivor, said the run is really close to her heart.

“It started about two years ago in July, when I found out that I had a cancerous tumour in the bone of my right shoulder blade,” she said.

Bertelink had the same cancer that Fox had called osteosarcoma [6]. It’s a form of bone cancer that is mostly found in the knees of people who are 25 and younger.

For Bertelink, her tumour was found in a very rare place. She said that she gets asked often about what she would say to cancer patients that are still suffering today.

“I tell people to be kind to themselves. It’s so easy to be down on yourself when you’re sick and you’re not feeling like you,” she said.

Event organizer Vicki Samaras said that she started organizing the Terry Fox Run in Belleville because she wanted to have more fundraising dollars.

“If I did the run in Toronto, I would just donate my money, but I thought if I organize the one in Belleville, then I could raise even more money,” she said.

Taylor Bertelink and Vicki Samaras at the 2016 Terry Fox Run on Sunday September 18. Photo By Makala Chapman, InQuinte

Vicki Samaras and Taylor Bertelink takes a break during the 2016 Terry Fox Run. Photo By Makala Chapman, InQuinte

Samaras said that she believes it’s important that cancer survivors like Bertelink participate in events like the Terry Fox Run because it shows that the research dollars are working.

“Taylor’s type of cancer that she went through, the survival rate has doubled in the last 20 years,” she said.

Samaras also noted that Terry Fox would have survived from that cancer if he had it today.

“Because of him and all the money raised, we are seeing improvements in the outcome,” she said.

Next year’s Terry Fox run will be held on September 17, 2017.

Samaras is hoping to start planning earlier next year to break an even bigger record.