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Expo 2020 Dubai to host ‘Terry Fox Run’ for World Cancer Day

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Expo 2020 Dubai is hosting the “Terry Fox Run” on February 5 to mark World Cancer Day and bring the mega-event’s Health and Wellness Week to a close, a statement by the Expo team on Wednesday revealed.

Held under the patronage of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority President and Chairman of Dubai-based carrier Emirates Airline Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the “Terry Fox Run” is a charity event organized by the Terry Fox Foundation, which raises critical funds for cancer research.

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The event’s organizers, Expo 2020 Dubai and the Canadian Business Council, hope the event will highlight the need for collective action against one of medicine’s toughest challenges, the statement detailed.

This year’s World Cancer Day, an annual initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), aims to raise awareness of the need to close the care gap.

“Terry Fox is a Canadian hero and his legacy is part of the Canadian DNA. We are honored to act on behalf of the Terry Fox Foundation to organize this special edition of the Terry Fox Run at Expo 2020 Dubai,” Colin Beaton, Chairman of Canadian Business Council Dubai said in a statement.

Organized by Canadian Business Council Dubai and hosted by Expo 2020 Dubai to support Al Jalila Foundation, this year’s “Terry Fox Run” in Dubai continues its tradition as a 3 or 5 km non-competitive family fun run. The event is open to all ages and abilities, and participants can choose to either run or walk the course; strollers are also welcome. In support of World Cancer Day, participants are encouraged to wear blue and orange too.

The sign of Dubai Expo 2020 is seen at the entrance of the site in Dubai, United Arab Emirates January 16, 2021. (File photo: Reuters)
The sign of Dubai Expo 2020 is seen at the entrance of the site in Dubai, United Arab Emirates January 16, 2021. (File photo: Reuters)

“Cancer research in the UAE really gained momentum because of the Terry Fox Run and the longstanding support of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, to whom we remain eternally grateful. Cancer research is crucially important – it not only saves lives, but gives hope to patients and those whose lives are affected by this disease,” said former executive director and volunteer consultant to the Terry Fox Foundation, Ara Sahakian.

“Through cancer research, we can also help to address some of the inequities in patient care. Participants in the Terry Fox Run and any other donors wanting to support the cause are warmly welcomed for their contribution, which can be made on the registration page for the event,” Sahakian added.

Sheikh Ahmed also supported Dubai’s first “Terry Fox Run” in 1994.

“The Terry Fox Run at Expo 2020 Dubai… aims to inspire collective action against what remains a leading cause of death worldwide. While cancer does not discriminate, treating it remains a challenging and difficult journey for so many,” said Reem al-Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Managing Director of Expo 2020 Dubai.

“The UAE remains committed to advancing medical research and innovation to improve quality of life for all and we are grateful to the Terry Fox Foundation for contributing to this important research,” she added, according to the Expo press release.

Named after a Canadian university student who lost a leg to cancer, the “Terry Fox Run” is renowned for its continuous contribution to cancer research over the last four decades. It is now an annual event, which takes place in 33 countries across five continents.

Wanting to give hope to cancer patients, the amputee athlete ran 5,373 km - close to a marathon every day for 143 days - to raise funds for cancer research. When he had to stop running due to the return of cancer, millions of people around the world decided to continue his quest by taking part in a run in his name.

Registration for this year’s event is free for children up to 17 years old and costs AED 100 per person for people above that age.

All participants will receive three entry tickets to Expo 2020 Dubai, enabling full access to the Expo site.

All net proceeds from registration will be donated to Al Jalila Foundation, a global healthcare philanthropic organization founded by Dubai’s Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to support cancer research projects in the UAE in partnership with the Terry Fox Foundation, as per the statement.

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