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Sault Ste. Marie man running across Canada for cancer research

Run, which has raised $60,000 to date, started on April 12 in Victoria and will conclude in Sault Ste. Marie.
Rick Fall Peng You
Rick Fall (left) is greeted by Coun. Peng You on Monday, July 12, 2021 outside of Thunder Bay city hall during stop on Fall's run from Victoria to Sault Ste. Marie, a fundraiser for children's cancer research. (Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com)

THUNDER BAY – A decade ago, Rick Fall helped revive the Terry Fox run in Sault Ste. Marie, his adopted home town.

Little did he know that 10 years later, he’d be paying homage to Fox with a run of his own, a journey that began three months ago in Victoria and has seen him trek 3,300 of a planned 4,200-kilometre journey from the west coast to Sault Ste. Marie.  

“Back in 2011 I figured if Terry could do that, why can’t I do that? I just thought it was great to be able to have that in my mind, to do something with cancer,” Fall said.

“There’s so much cancer and it affects so many people in this world that I decided to stick with children’s cancers. I saw so many children suffering from or succumbing to cancer – or have been able to beat the cancer.”

To date, Fall said he’s raised about $60,000, which will be turned over to both the Make A Wish Foundation of Canada and Childhood Cancer Canada.

Reaching Thunder Bay is especially emotional for Fall, who originally hails from Duncan, B.C., as it was just east of the city that Fox had to abandon his run in 1980, the cancer that ultimately claimed his life the following year having returned.

“I said the other day, I’m hitting a wall,” Fall said. “Most people hit the wall on a marathon at about the 32-kilometre out of 42. I’m at the 3,330-kilometre mark out of 4,200. I think the (Terry Fox) monument and seeing it is going to give me the power to finish it.”

It certainly feels good to have the end in sight.

“The hills between here and Sault Ste. Marie are going to be tough. But I look on the map now and I realize from Victoria to Thunder Bay is a long way. It’s been tough, it’s been hard, but I’m still here. My feet are sore at times. My running is slowing down at times, but I just think about what Terry did and when my feet are sore I wonder what Terry would do.

“Terry pushed on. He pushed on with blisters and sore and I thought, why can’t I, and why can’t other people get out there and push their limits a little. Have a dream, have a goal and just pursue it – and get out there and have fun doing it.”

To donate to and track Fall’s run, visit www.FalloRick.com.



Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith has been the editor of Thunder Bay Source for 19 years and has served a similar role with TBNewsWatch.com since 2009. Wants his Expos back. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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