Saturday, September 13, 2008

Duffy draws strength from Terry Fox in her cancer battle
Duffy draws strength from Terry Fox in her cancer battle

The Guardian

Janice Duffy, fighting cancer for the fourth time, knows she can lean heavily on the support of family members, like her sister Valerie Davies. Her husband, Bill, and several siblings will join Duffy in taking part in the Terry Fox Run Sunday. Guardian photo by Jim Day
Janice Duffy credits Terry Fox with helping her kick cancer — time and time again.
Three times the 49-year-old Stratford woman has fought back from the oft-deadly disease. Each time, chemotherapy seemed to do the trick.
Duffy feels Fox played a key role in her recoveries on two levels. First, his Marathon of Hope has raised more than $400 million worldwide for cancer research, resulting in the development of better treatment for Duffy and countless others.
Also, Fox set an example of a remarkable fighting spirit that Duffy also embraces in her own determined effort to beat cancer.
“You do what you have to do and you keep going,’’ she said.
“That’s what I learned from him. You never give up.’’
For years, Duffy has marvelled at Fox’s amazing feat of running 5,373 kilometres in 143 days before he was forced to stop on Sept. 1, 1980 because cancer had appeared in his lungs. He died 10 months later at age 22.
Yet his fierce, selfless quest to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research, while never fulfilled, still resonates with millions of people, Duffy most certainly among them.
“You’ve got to keep going,’’ said Duffy, who is once again in the throes of cancer.
“And that’s what Terry did. How many miles did he run with his lungs being full before he actually had to stop? I can tell you, he was probably in a lot of pain for a lot of days.’’
Duffy refuses to let cancer keep her down. With the disease currently attacking her right lung and while under the tiring strain of chemotherapy, she is still set to take part Sunday in the Terry Fox Run.
She may complete five kilometers or it might be three, two or even less. But she plans to be there and give it her all.
Duffy will be buoyed by her strong support system, consisting of husband Bill, a crowd of siblings, and friends. Her 16-year-old daughter Katie is trying to get time off work to also be by her side. If not, Duffy knows the teenager will be there in spirit.
Duffy gets choked up speaking of just how much it means to her to have such deep support from family, including that of her nine brothers and sisters, in a nearly decade-long on-again, off-again battle with cancer.
“There are high and low moments,’’ she said.
“I don’t have days, I have moments. And I have a great support system (to deal with the low moments).’’
For years, she has been involved in the Run for the Cure and the Relay For Life. She has been actively supporting these cancer research fundraising efforts to help raise awareness that research and development into this disease has been paying big dividends.
“Like I wouldn’t be here today, I don’t think, if all the people weren’t out there working hard to try and find a cure for cancer,’’ she said.
And Duffy became a Terry Team member this year for the same reason.
She believes she owes her life, perhaps several times over, to what appears to have been unstoppable momentum and significant ongoing financial support that Terry Fox’s legacy has channeled into cancer research and development.
“My feeling is his ultimate goal was to find a cure and that’s my ultimate goal is to help find a cure,’’ she said.
“So whatever I have to do to do that, that’s what I’m willing to do.’’
Lots of Terry Fox runs going Sunday across P.E.I.

By Jim Day
The Guardian
Islanders can take part in the Terry Fox Run Sunday from any one of more than 20 sites across P.E.I.
Sixty schools in the province are also participating in the annual run, now in its 28th year of raising millions of dollars for cancer research.
Provincial director Onne de Boer, who oversees the run in both P.E.I. and New Brunswick, urged everyone to contribute to the cause.
“Terry only asked of us to give a dollar (each),” he said.
Last year, about $440,000 was raised between New Brunswick and P.E.I.
The run in Charlottetown begins at 1:30 p.m. at Victoria Park with registration one hour earlier.
In Summerside, registration is at the Credit Union at 1:30 p.m. with the run going along the boardwalk at 2 p.m.
Other locations and times for runs across P.E.I. can be found online at (click on Provincial Pages, then go to Run Site Listings).
Participants won’t have to run far to hand in their pledges. Banks in Canada will be accepting pledge sheets and funds raised for the Terry Fox Run at branches throughout Canada again this year.
Pledge sheets and funds raised may be turned in at any branch of the following banks from Sept. 15 to Oct. 11, 2008: BMO Financial Group, Canadian Western Bank, CIBC, HSBC Bank Canada, National Bank Financial Group, RBC, Scotiabank and TD Canada Trust.
After Oct. 11, funds and pledge sheets should be mailed to a provincial Terry Fox Foundation office.
The first Terry Fox Run in 1981 attracted 300,000 participants across Canada and raised $3.5 million. To date, more than $400 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry Fox’s name.
Last year, about 1,100 people participated in the runs on P.E.I.
While called the Terry Fox Run, participants are welcome to cover the different routes, depending on the surface, in any fashion they choose from rollerblading to leisurely stroll, added de Boer.

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