Kathleen Van Doorn, Nanaimo Terry Fox Run co-organizer, left, and Jessie Mazzelli, who has raised close to $40,000 since she began taking part in Terry Fox Runs in 1983, prep for the run Sunday, Sept. 16, at Bowen Park. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Terry Fox Run combats cancer with hope

Terry Fox Run fundraiser walk/run will be held Sunday, Sept. 16, at Nanaimo’s Bowen Park

A Nanaimo woman who has been taking part in Terry Fox runs since 1983 is hoping to crack the $40,000 mark for total money raised over the years.

Jessie Mazzelli, along with hundreds of others in the community, will take part in the Terry Fox Run, Sunday, Sept. 16 at Bowen Park.

The run commemorates Fox’s Marathon of Hope and like his original journey, seeks to raise money for cancer research. Cancer has affected many people, including Mazzelli.

“The reason I do this is in the memory of my aunt … we’ve lost lots of family members and friends with the disease,” said Mazzelli. “Hopefully they find a cure for it. That’s the reason I keep on doing it.”

RELATED: Terry Fox walker goes further

The 2018 Terry Fox Run begins at 10 a.m. at Bowen Park and there are two- and five-kilometre options. Kathleen Van Doorn, event co-organizer, said the goal is to raise $30,000 and more than $326,500 has been raised in Nanaimo since 1989.

“It’s really hard to have any control about the money because it’s the people that bring the money in and it makes me more happy to see the numbers come in…” said Van Doorn. “Even just a few more, then that would be awesome.”

This year will be Van Doorn’s last co-ordinating the event and she has seen things change the 35 years she’s been involved.

“I believe I see more interest,” said Van Doorn. “It’s affected me by how much people give, not just money, but themselves and it’s all because of Terry’s reputation. He has such a clean reputation. He was so selfless in wanting to find a cure for everybody else.”

Van Doorn said cupcakes are provided on race day and are popular; she suspects that is a reason for the good turnout.

For more information about the event, go to www.terryfox.org/run/ and search for Nanaimo under the Terry Fox Run tab.


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