For the past 29 years, Jessie Mazzelli has hit the streets to raise money for the Terry Fox Run, generating $19,000 for the cause.
She was first inspired to participate in memory of her aunt, whose name she shares and who died of cancer. Her first few years participating were in Powell River, while the last two were in Nanaimo.
Knowing she is helping people makes her continue to participate every year.
“It’s a nice feeling that you can be able to help,” said Mazzelli.
Mazzelli was busy fundraising in anticipation of this year’s Terry Fox Run, which is Sunday (Sept. 18).
She knocked on doors for five weeks to raise money and originally wanted to raise $800 to bring her total to $18,000. However, she exceeded her goal, bringing her 29-year total to $19,004.
Mazzelli said she hates bothering people, but she knows it’s for a good cause and has knocked on hundreds of doors to gather donations.
She remembers speaking to one woman who shared her story about being a breast cancer survivor. Those encounters make her continue participating in the run.
“It makes me feel good that I’m helping people,” said Mazzelli.
Next year on her 30th anniversary, Mazzelli hopes to bring her total to $20,000.
Mazzelli hopes the younger generation starts to become more involved in the run and she seeks to inspire her grandchildren to participate.
“But I wish this younger generation would take over, because sooner or later they’re the ones that will have to do it,” said Mazzelli.
The Terry Fox Run starts at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the run starts at 10:45. For more information please go to www.nanaimo.ca.