Over 400 Students in Rossland participated in a Terry Fox School Run on Friday.
Starting off from Rossland Summit School (RSS), students from RSS, l’école des Sept-sommets and the Seven Summits Centre for Learning did a loop around the neighbourhood, with some students running it twice. RSS students are also holding a loonie and toonie drive to raise money for the Terry Fox Foundation, which supports cancer research. The drive will wrap up on Friday, Oct. 7 and they hope to raise $400.
“Terry Fox asked for a dollar for each Canadian when he ran,” explained Nicky Darwin, the Grade 7 French Immersion teacher at RSS. Fox began his Marathon of Hope on Apr. 12, 1980 and was forced to abandon the run on Sept. 1 after cancer appeared in his lungs. Nonetheless, by Feb. 1, 1981 he had reached his goal and had raised $24.17 million — one dollar for each Canadian.
The route for the Rossland school run was planned by Darwin’s students, who were also responsible for keeping their peers safe and on route during the run. “My Grade 7 students acted as student leaders along the route. Some were stopping cars at the intersection, some were providing encouragement in French and in English, and just showing us what direction to go in,” said Darwin.
“We had to find a route that was safe for all the ages that were participating in [the run]; we had to make sure that they understood it wasn’t a race, that it was more for acknowledging that Terry did that for all of us,” said Marguerite Helberg, one of Darwin’s students.
Darwin’s class will follow up the run by learning about why Terry Fox serves as symbol and inspiration and doing their own community service. “So what is it that inspires us? What is it that we would like to be a symbol for?” said Darwin.
“He helped a lot of people by running 42 kilometers every day and that was really hard for him because he lost his leg,” said Amie Steven, when asked what Terry Fox meant to her. “He just helped a lot of people and he’s an inspiration for a lot of people.”
For some, Friday’s run wasn’t just about Fox. Students in RSS’s Grade 9 and 10 late French Immersion class were also running for Natasha Rose Gould.
“Last year, in April I believe, we hiked up Red Mountain and at the top we took a picture, and it was a fundraiser [and] we came up with the tag line Climb to Conquer Cancer,” Molly Jamin, a member of the class, told the News.
The fundraiser was for young Calgary resident Natasha Rose Gould, who in May 2015 was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas, “a highly aggressive and difficult to treat brain tumour found as the base of the brain, mostly in children.”
“We supported Natasha and we Skyped with Natasha, and she was telling us about her struggle,” said Jamin.
Sadly, the 12-year-old lost her fight with cancer on Aug. 4. “So our entire class would like to remember her,” said Jamin.
Students also wore orange shirts throughout the day to mark Orange Shirt Day. The annual event is held “in recognition of the harm the residential school system did to children’s sense of self-esteem and well being, and as an affirmation of our commitment to ensure that everyone around us matters.”