RAK to fight cancer with charity run

The Terry Fox Run, an annual charity event to benefit cancer research that has become a tradition in several emirates, will be held in RAK for the first time on March 5.

RAS AL KHAIMAH // The Terry Fox Run, an annual charity event to benefit cancer research that has become a tradition in several emirates, will be held in RAK for the first time on March 5. Participants can choose to run 5km or walk, bike, jog, skateboard or rollerblade 3km down Al Qawassim Corniche. The event has drawn thousands in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai, which staged the UAE's first version of the event in 1993.

"The other emirates all have runs already, so it's time that RAK had one of its own to support the cancer research that's going on in the country," said Ken Forde, a Canadian physical education teacher at the Ras al Khaimah English Speaking School, who is organising the event. The event honours Terry Fox, who was found to have bone cancer when he was 18 and had most of his right leg amputated. He pledged to run across Canada wearing an artificial limb to raise money for cancer research, covering about 42km a day on his Marathon of Hope. His goal was to raise C$1 (Dh3.56) for each of Canada's 24.5 million inhabitants.

After nearly five months and 5,373km, Mr Fox had to stop when the cancer spread to his lungs. He died in June 1981, aged 22, but inspired thousands worldwide. The Terry Fox Run has since raised more than US$400 million (Dh1.46 billion) for cancer research. Last month, more than 5,000 people braved the rain to take part in this year's Dubai run. Mr Forde told his students it was now RAK's turn to make a contribution. "It would be great to see every single person in here be involved, doing something for this cause," he said.

Aida Guindo, 16, a Grade 12 pupil from Russia, hopes to raise at least Dh1,000 from family and friends. "RAK is a small place, so word will spread around quickly," she said. Pledge sheets are available at the Ras al Khaimah English Speaking School reception desk. Participants can download a pledge sheet and sign up at www.premiermarathons.com/rakterryfoxrun. Donations will fund research at UAE University Hospital in Al Ain.

azacharias@thenational.ae