Matthew Kim, Writer
Gators, it’s time to fight back cancer! In just a matter of weeks, even days, WGSS is going to do the Terry Fox Run and TUFF Wally once again! In honour of possibly the greatest Canadian ever and his contributions to the world, our school is going to participate and run towards a brighter future in cancer research!
Starting back in 1980, when our friend Terry Fox was just a young teenager in high school, he decided to start something called the Marathon of Hope. It was an event where Fox would run across Canada entirely in hopes of receiving donations throughout his journey to fund cancer research and a possible cure.
“He always put a little flag on the road where he had stopped the night before, and he would not cheat by even one step.” ~ Mr. Stead, Friend of Terry Fox
Keep in mind that when Terry started his quest, he was a mediocre athlete at best, however, his perseverance to reach his goal allowed him to improve and made his journey all the more special. He started in St. John, Newfoundland, and aimed to run all the way to Victoria, British Columbia in order to raise $1 million for cancer research. That was his goal.
“Imagine how much your feet would hurt after running a marathon every single day.” ~ Mr. Kitteringham, Vice Principal
At first, Terry’s idea was not very well known, but as he kept running through the provinces of Canada – one marathon a day with the help of his best friend and brother, more people recognized him for what he was doing. By April, Terry had far exceeded his goal with a whopping $24 million. Unfortunately, the Marathon of Hope was cut short as he reached Thunder Bay because Terry Fox found out that the cancer had spread from his leg to his lungs. Although he was rushed to medical care, he passed away and was unable to complete his goal of running across Canada to spread cancer awareness. During a Terry Fox assembly, Mr. Stead describes the severity of the cancer in both of Terry’s lung on his final day. The disease had become so fierce that Terry Fox did not even have the energy to swat a fly.
“He obviously had been suffering for a while, and everyday he still somehow managed to get out of that van.” ~ Mr. Stead
Now we as Canadians are here to continue what Terry Fox started. As usual, WGSS is pushing its students and teachers to raise funds for cancer research. One main fundraiser around WGSS is done by encouraging teachers to agree to a challenge for a certain price. If students raise the amount of money required for the challenge, then as agreed upon, the teacher must abide by his commitment and follow through with the proposed challenge: similar to how Terry stayed faithful to his commitment. This includes shaving off hair, making a cake, speaking like Yoda for the day . . . the possibilities are pretty much endless! All the proceeds will go towards the Marathon of Hope, making every donation vital!
“Look at the  sock and tell me if you’ve ever had a sock that looks like that. He’s worn it completely out, running his Marathon of Hope.” ~ Mr. Kitteringham
Another fundraiser WGSS is also involved in includes the collection of donations from the school during the Terry Fox Run and TUFF Wally. Whether you have donated or not, everyone is able to participate in the Terry Fox Run. WGSS’ Terry Fox run is where everyone in the school, staff and students alike, run Loop 1 twice. Also, be aware that right after the Terry Fox Run comes the highly anticipated TUFF Wally!
Every year, students of all ages sign up as a team of 5 to partake in a rough-and-tumble obstacle course designed by the school to see which team can complete it the fastest. There are usually outside activities and food trucks as well, so even if you’re not part of a team, you can still watch and enjoy yourself outside of TUFF Wally.
To push the donations even further this year, not all teams that sign up will be able to participate in TUFF Wally. Teams that have signed up will have to raise funds through sponsorships to make it in one of the 20 team slots available. Even before the event starts, there is already competition between the potential teams! Who will qualify?
“You know you’re kinda a big deal when [a statue] is built for you near Thunder Bay, Ontario.” ~ Mr. Kitteringham
As Canadians, we are proud to continue the legacies of people like Terry Fox, who sacrificed their time and their life for the future of Canada. Raise money for cancer research and as a community we will fight cancer! Let’s make this a good year, Gators!
To get a sign up form, see the P.E. office for details. Below is the 2016 TUFF Wally trailer.