Gananoque Terry Fox Run taking a new twist

Christine Milks, Gananoque run Organizer, encourages everyone to participate in the 40th Anniversary Terry Fox Run which will be held virtually due to COVID-19. Lorraine Payette/For Postmedia Network jpg, KI

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Christine Milks is not going to let Gananoque miss out on this year’s Terry Fox Run. Just because we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, that’s no reason to give up on an important cause like defeating cancer.

“Like all 2020 Terry Fox Runs, the Gananoque run is a virtual run due to the current pandemic,” she said. “In the words of the Terry Fox Foundation (TFF), ‘We will unite in spirit, not in person!’ This year’s run is called ‘One Day. Your Way.’ and it is a fitting way to pay tribute to the legacy of a remarkable young man who did it ‘his way’ 40 years ago.”

Typically, Terry Fox Runs occur on the third Sunday in September, but with COVID-19 stopping events everywhere, a physical run would prove to be impossible. All over Canada, people were trying to find some way to make it happen, to keep Terry’s dream alive. It soon became obvious that the only solution was to go virtual. A suggested run day is September 20, but they are encouraging people to choose a day that works best for them.

“Once the decision was made to go virtual, the Terry Fox Foundation did everything to make it as easy as possible for people to participate,” said Milks. “The website ( is home for everything you need to know or want to do in connection with the 2020 run. People can register as individuals or as teams to walk, run, swim, bicycle or whatever. Alternatively, if you just want to make a donation or support someone who is participating, you can do that as well.

“There is a map of all the 2020 Terry Fox Runs worldwide and, if you zoom in far enough, you will find the Gananoque run at site number 361. You can join or support our run. You can also check in often at our site’s page for updated information on the number of participants, teams, monies raised.”

Milks has been impressed with the Terry Fox Foundation website. She finds it to be very well organized and maintained, as well as filed with useful information about Terry as well as about the run, where the money goes, what the research is for – everything a person would want to know.

“As a result of the re-think needed to host a virtual run there is a new Terry Fox app,” she said. “I’ve downloaded it on my phone. There are challenges for everyone leading up to September 20 – you can ‘Train Like Terry’ and, best of all, the app will keep track of how many kilometers you have ‘run’.”

Available through MoveSpring, the app has easy to follow instructions and links from the Terry Fox website.

“The run is virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions, so will be no on-site gathering in Gananoque for participants on September 20, but people will see our ‘Terry Fox Lives Here’ flag flying once again at Gananoque’s Town Hall from September 14 to September 21 in tribute,” said Milks. “Gananoque has had a Terry Fox Run for almost the entire forty years the run has existed. We have a proud history of supporting these efforts to raise money to find a cure for cancer and, together, we are helping to make things happen and funding research that is producing amazing results.”

“Terry’s Team” is made up of runners who have been diagnosed with cancer and are at any stage of treatment or recovery and can be spotted by their special red 40th anniversary shirts, issued to them by TFF. The money collected goes to help friends and family, neighbours and other people we may or may not know who now have a chance a cure, a chance at survival, a chance at a long and happy life thanks to research funded by TFF.

“Three teams are currently registered to run in Gananoque,” said Milks. “These teams – ‘We Are The Cure’, ‘Got CUREage’ and ‘Kurt’s Krew’ – are the heart and soul of Gananoque fundraising and show us what great things we can accomplish by working together. They, along with the growing list of individuals who have registered for the Gan run, all embody this year’s hashtag of ‘Try like Terry’ as they have found a way to make this run work even in the face of a pandemic.”

Fortieth-anniversary tee-shirts are available at $20 each for adults sizes S through XXL, and youth Medium size $15. Free “Terry Fox” lawn signs are also available. For contactless delivery contact Milks by messaging at

“The Terry Fox Foundation is an amazing group of people,” said Milks. “With the guidance of the Fox family who have stayed true to Terry’s vision, they make sure that the costs to operate the foundation are as low as possible. Even today, almost 80 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to cancer research and cancer research alone. This foundation has 400 volunteers for every staff member. For 2018-2019 there was a total investment of $26.6 million dollars in 47 funded projects, 435 funded researchers and 95 collaborative institutions all across Canada.

“Terry Fox never gave up. The pandemic of 2020 has only reinforced what Terry Fox showed us first and better – we’re all in this together.”