Sault Stryders
Running Club

Terry Fox run hits record levels
Reported September 17, 2007 by Elaine Della-Mattia for The Sault Star
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

It's been seven years since Carole and Rob Frech's daughter Julie-Ann died.

The 19-year-old teenager had suffered for nine months with the same type as bone cancer as Terry Fox.

It was then that the Frech's decided they wanted to get involved in the annual run that raises money for cancer research.

They learned that there was no organizer in Sault Ste. Marie and soon took the reigns to make sure that Terry's dream continued.

When they took the job of organizing the annual September event, the Frech's had other reasons for also accepting the task at hand.

In that same year, Rob's sister, then 40-years-old, and his grandfather, also died of cancer.

Now, the Frech's are hoping that someone else steps up to the plate to take off where they've left off.

It's their last year to organize the five or 10 km run, walk, or cycle event and they can proudly say that not only did they revive the run, but their efforts have also resulted in record numbers and money being raised for the event.

"We haven't see any interest yet but we're hoping the Lion's Club, who have always been there to help us out, will take over," Frech said.

Her nephew, seven-year-old Dennis Luck, has participated in the event since his mother died when he was one year old.

This year the Gr. 2 Greenwood School student raised $99 for the cause and participated on his bike.

The Frech's have heard from all sorts of individuals over the year who chose different reasons to participate.

Many have experienced the evils of cancer through families and friends; others do it for the sake of a healthy afternoon run and raising money for a good cause.

For the Bassanello family, it's becoming a new family tradition.

It's the second year the Steve and Silvana Bassanello, along with daughters Emma, 7, and Megan, 3, and their dog Oliver have participated.

"Last year we were with strollers, this year we're all legs," said Steve before the run started.

"It's a nice family tradition and a good way to raise money for research," Silvana said.

Steve said he's raising the stakes again next year. While the five km run/walk is a great second-year event, next year he wants to see his family do 10 km.

Meanwhile, Emma has always called Terry Fox her hero.

During its existence, the Terry Fox run has raised $400 million for cancer research.

Survival rates for those diagnosed with cancer has almost doubled to 60 per cent in the past 40 years because of research.

This year in Sault Ste. Marie, more than 300 participants raised over 11,000 for cancer research.