Terry Fox fundraising makes a difference

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Terry Fox team member and presenter Daisy-Mae Hamelinck does more than talk about Terry Fox and the Terry Fox Foundation's annual fundraising drive.

When Hamelinck visits schools, she hikes up her skirt and shows students and staff scars from five operations. After visiting 20 doctors and specialists, Hamelinck was eventually diagnosed with osteosarcoma, the same bone cancer Terry Fox had in 1979. Thanks to medical advances in recent years, instead of amputating her leg, doctors were able to implant an endoprosthesis – a prosthetic inside her leg.

Last Wednesday Hamelinck made a 45-minute presentation at Glendale High School in Tillsonburg to help promote Glendale's Sept. 24th Terry Fox Run. She showed slides, talked about what Terry Fox did and how it connects to the students, and walking around the gymnasium full of GHS students, showed her scars.

"I want to show you where your money, and all your hard work goes when you take part in the Terry Fox Run," said Hamelinck.

"I want you to take the things you learned from this presentation, and take it wherever you go. Today I hope each and every one of you understands that when you take part... you know how important that is."

Glendale teacher Lloyd Renken, speaking during the Terry Fox assembly, stressed the difference between understanding the concept of Terry Fox Runs, which most of the students have learned about and participated in since their earliest elementary school days, and understanding the purpose.

"There's a difference," said Renken. "The purpose is to raise money in support of cancer research to help eradicate this disease."

Glendale raised $5,571in 2013, just over $500 more than 2012, which also surpassed the 2011 total ($4,500) by $500. In 17 years, from 1996-2013, Renken said the school has raised $76,682.

"This is an amazing Terry Fox Club, one of the biggest I've seen visiting schools around Ontario," Hamelinck after the presentation.

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, about 90 students who raised $20 or more walked from GHS to Lake Lisgar, completing a circuit of the lake before returning to the school, or walked laps around the school's football field, returning to the school for a barbecue.



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