The date for the 16th Abu Dhabi Terry Fox Run is now confirmed for February 17. The run will take place on the Abu Dhabi Corniche at the intersection with 30th Street (Khaleej Al Arabi).
Terry Fox was a young amputee who lost his leg to cancer. Choosing to be positive about his situation, in 1979, aged just 20, he attempted to run across Canada by completing the equivalent of a full marathon for 143 consecutive days - a total of 5,373km - to raise money for new, UAE-relevant cancer research.
Terry himself called his run 'The Marathon of Hope', and every run held since helps raise funds for cancer research, giving cancer sufferers the hope that one day, a cure, or even prevention, for cancer will be found. Although Terry himself was unable to complete the run, and died in 1980, his dream has lived on for the last 30 years and is giving hope to us all.
The very first Abu Dhabi Terry Fox Run was held in 1995, and a run has been organised annually ever since, making this the 16th consecutive year. All proceeds go to fund innovative cancer research in the UAE. The run is volunteer-driven; it is organised by an international mix of volunteers in the months prior to each run, while the Run Day itself is supported by hundreds of volunteers of all ages taking on a number of duties to ensure that participants enjoy the day responsibly. To date, over 300 volunteers have offered their support for this year's run, including students and professionals, as well as members from the Emirates Foundation's Takatof programme and the philanthropic Volunteer in Abu Dhabi group.
The Run day programme will begin at 7am and includes a DJ playing music guaranteed to get everyone in an upbeat mood, a 15-minute aerobic session to warm-up the crowd, the 40-member Abu Dhabi Police Band playing the UAE national anthem and the Bohra Community Drumming Band entertaining participants at the halfway point and motivating them to finish the entire 8.5km route.
Patron of the Run, Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, will be presenting a grant of Dh300,000 to the UAE University's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Recognising that we increasingly live in a global village, the Vancouver-based Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI), formed in 2007 by the Terry Fox Foundation, has announced that plans are currently in development to connect cancer researchers at TFRI with colleagues in all the countries where the International Runs are organised - including the UAE - to learn from each other, and also to work together collaboratively on research, or training of researchers that is of mutual interest.
Since 1995, approximately 65,000 people have participated in the run around the UAE, and raised some C$1,425,141 since its launch.