Terry Fox school run luckily back in public schools in Quebec

A walk that was started 36 years ago by a well-known heroic Canadian, Terry Fox, has been continued annually by students across Canada in more than 9000 Canadian communities. All to pursue an honorable cause, the search for a cure for cancer. Sadly, last year that tradition was broken for many public schools across Quebec.

As many Canadians know, Terry was diagnosed with cancer, specifically a bone cancer called osteogenic sarcoma. This resulted in the amputation of his right leg six inches above his knee.

Due to witnessing the suffering of others with cancer, Terry was inspired to run across Canada and raise money for cancer research, he called this run the: "Marathon of Hope."

Unfortunately, Terry wasn’t able to finish the run after cancer was found in his lungs. After 143 days with a total of 5373 km of running, he ultimately passed away June 28 of the next year. But even after his passing, his dream has continued to live on to this day, resulting in the Terry Fox Foundation raising millions of dollars per year. The foundation has raised over $700 million for cancer research since it was established, which just shows how much can be accomplished if people have the determination to make a change.

A part of raising money for the Terry Fox Foundation comes from annual Terry Fox school runs that many schools across Canada take part in, Westwood Senior High School will participate in this event this coming September 29. Students get sponsors to pledge for them as the students take part of the run. This year Westwood Senior has set their goal at $3000 and will hopefully fulfill exceedingly.

Due to the teacher strike, Work to Rule, that was in place last school year, most of student activities were cancelled. Sadly, the Terry Fox run was also cancelled for many public schools in Quebec, including Westwood Senior and Junior.

This is obviously a very controversial subject, with conflicting opinions, should the fundraiser have had been cancelled even though it was for a good cause? Or was it a good thing for teachers to stick to their word and fight for their right?

I understand both sides of the argument and it’s extremely hard to pick a stance on this topic. Reason being, the teachers were being swindled and a change needed to happen. It was at a point where if they wanted that change to happen, the teachers needed to use pressure tactics. But on the other hand, the Terry Fox run is an important cause, dedicated to finding a cure for a disease that affects people all over the world.

When you think about it, if all the schools in just the Lester B. Pearson school board alone didn’t raise any money, that amounts to around $150,000 (assuming at least $3000 is being made by every school). Now imagine the number if we included all the school boards in the province of Quebec, that’s a fair amount of money not being donated that year.

On one side, you have the future of education and students by having teachers righteously get what they work very hard for. And on the other side, the lives of the millions of people affected by cancer, a horrible disease that has taken the lives of loved ones way too soon.

Tristyn Chin is a grade 11 student at Westwood Senior High School in Hudson, QC