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Travelling the research road together

I’ve always been a supporter of the annual Terry Fox Foundation run in support of cancer research. It was one way I could honour the friends and neighbours that suffered and ultimately succumbed to the disease. By participating in the run, I was able to tap the shoulders of friends and neighbours to support research that could help find a cure.

Twenty-eight years ago, I was touched by the efforts of this young Canadian, when, as a national CTV television news cameraman I followed Terry Fox as he ran through northwestern Ontario on his bid to find that dollar from every Canadian towards a cure.

“Terry Fox said he wasn’t a dreamer, but he knew he had to believe in miracles and start a campaign to find a cure for cancer,” the foundation’s web-site says.

His efforts have become a global cause, with some $400 million raised so far.

Events in his name have been putting $20 million research dollars annually into Manitoba projects.

Terry Fox inspired me to volunteer to run in the annual Marathon of Hope long before I was touched by cancer myself.

The reality of confronting brain tumours this summer forced me to find another way to participate in the Marathon of Hope. Brain tumours are the most common cancer tumour in this country. I am one of the 17,000 Canadians diagnosed annually.

Instead of running in the 2008 Terry Fox run, I turned to shaving and a 30-year-old beard went bye-bye as a means of raising this year’s contribution. I was completely overwhelmed by the response of my friends, neighbours and cattle industry contacts as they rose to the challenge.

The opportunity to see me without my beard was enough to raise more than $1,700 towards the foundation’s work. Canadians have a proud pioneering tradition of banding together to widen and smooth the roads they find themselves travelling as a group. That’s still very much alive.

Thanks to the efforts of my friends at FBC, Derksen Printers and my family, we will soon have a 2009 calendar of Prairie photos available. These are pictures from across the province that I’ve taken over the years. Called “A Prairie Boy’s View,” it will sell for $10, the net proceeds going to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. My heartfelt thanks to all who might be interested in assisting in this new fundraising effort.

– Co-operator cattle columnist Glen Nicoll is in the Interlake

Regional Health Centre in Gimli.

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