In 1993, David Scott tied up his sneakers, showed up early in the morning at Simcoe Park and participated in his first Terry Fox Run. He hasn’t missed one since.
It hasn’t always been in Niagara-on-the-Lake, but wherever he has found himself on the morning of the run, he has walked the 10 kilometres (sometimes five if grandchildren are along), and through his business, Scott Construction, has raised money for the Terry Fox Foundation.
“It’s not a lot of money,” he says, usually around $3,500 to $4,500, from trades and suppliers he has met through his business.
This year, he hasn’t anything planned, but expects he and his wife Linda will walk around Queenston, where they live.
Over the years, he says, they’ve been joined by their kids, Nathan, Dana and Matt, and grandchildren, “whoever could join us.”
One year, he and Linda were on Vancouver Island on the day of the run, and went for a 10-kilometre walk.
Last year at this time, they were in Sauble Beach with Dana, son-in-law Andrew Harber, and two grandchildren, Aiden and Emma. There was no organized run in 2020, but a One Day, Your Way event, so the family did it their way, walking five kilometres for Terry Fox.
Scott recalls that in 1993, two organizers of the run, Rosemary Chew and Paul Kent, created the concept of Dream Teams, encouraging participants to form teams and raise more money for the run. That caught his attention, and was the beginning of what has become an 18-year tradition of him not missing a year.
Scott recalls the year Terry Fox began his run, and received little attention for what he was doing. When he came through Niagara, Scott says, “why didn’t I pay more attention to what was going on, to what he was doing?”
He pays attention now. Cancer is a “very devastating disease,” he says.
His father has had it and beat it, and he has friends who have not survived it.
“Linda and I have turned 70, and we’ve lost numerous friends to it. It’s just common sense. Cancer should be beaten. It keeps rearing its ugly head, and most people have been touched by it. We should be doing what we can to stop it.”
There are many worthy causes requiring support, and people make their choices as to how they want to donate, but for Scott, it’s been for cancer research. “Sometimes it feels like cancer is all around us. I latched onto it because of Terry Fox, and his involvement. He asked others, if he couldn’t finish, to keep it going. We see the sacrifice he made, running in pain every day.”
That personal association with the annual run, says Scott, is what keeps him going.
Through donations, awareness about early detection has been increased, and treatments improved, he says.
“I just carry on because it’s a good cause. It helps others, and one day it may help me.”
Coming up to add to NOTL’s fundraising total, says run organizer Joan King, is another music trivia night fundraiser, Niagara’s Name That Tune, Live with Lee, on Friday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.
It’s online on Zoom, using the Kahoot app. Donations can be e-transferred to TerryFoxNOTL@gmail.com.
You can play alone, as a couple, or a group.
“Nobody knows who else is playing,” says King, “so if you’re not great with music trivia, but want to give it a try, this is the way to do it. It’s lots of fun.