McMaster students run with a cause and Terry Fox in mind

This article was originally published in CBC Hamilton, Sept.16, 2012

Kimberly Brown understands how much cancer can hurt families. Her grandmother is fighting lung cancer, and her grandfather died of the same disease.

So on Sunday afternoon, she headed to McMaster University for the Terry Fox College and University Student Engagement (CAUSE) on Campus run, hoping to finish the 10 kilometre trek in her wheelchair.

“Everyone is doing their part to help,” Brown said. “Everyone doing something little makes a big impact.”

CAUSE is an extension of the annual Terry Fox Run, and is a new initiative set up to increase student awareness and support for cancer research.

Brown, a McMaster continuing education student, says she believes that any one individual can make a difference in the fight to end cancer – students included.

This was the first CAUSE run at McMaster, and over 100 people took part.

It was started by the Terry Fox Foundation and the Terry Fox Research Institute in fall 2012, and is happening on various campuses across Canada from September to October.

Participants ran five or 10 kilometre routes on campus — either by running, walking, biking or even rollerblading.

While some did the run solo, Jeff Toole brought an entire hockey team along with him.

As the head coach of the Hamilton Huskies Minor Hockey Club, Toole had three main goals in mind for his team:

“Running for a good cause, team building opportunities, and conditioning motivations — to see where they are in cardiovascular,” Toole said.

It’s a tradition for the team to take part in community runs. They’ve been doing it for seven years for team-building purposes, added assistant coach Ron Chatelain.

“It’s not so much to do with hockey than to develop them as people,” Toole said. “The challenge was just to complete the five kilometres and do the best out of it.”

He wasn’t disappointed — one of his boys ran five kilometres in under 20 minutes.

“They did well,” said Toole, beaming with pride.

As for the boys, they were just happy to do the run together.

“I don’t think we’d come here on our own,” said eighth-grade student Zack McLeod. “We’re here as a team.”

But the run itself wasn’t the only way to help on Sunday — McMaster student Kewan helped out when he paid a visit to the registration booth to donate $10 to the cause.

He also made sure to ask for a route map from the organizers.

“I’m a running enthusiast,” Masud said. “I can’t do the Terry Fox Run today, but I’m going to do this by myself tomorrow instead.”

Visit the CBC Hamilton Facebook page for a photo gallery of the CAUSE on Campus run.