Cancer survivors, families share triumphs, sadness over disease

Touched by cancer, Lori Hutchings signs the In Memory board and the Survivor board for her parents moments before the annual Terry Fox Run starts from Heritage Ranch on Sunday. She writes in memory of her late father Ken Miller and for her mother, Jean who is a breast cancer survivor.

Lori Hutchings writes a message at the Terry Fox Run Sunday in memory of her father Ken Miller who succumbed to cancer two years ago.

Lori Hutchings writes a message at the Terry Fox Run Sunday in memory of her father Ken Miller who succumbed to cancer two years ago.

Touched by cancer, Lori Hutchings signs the In Memory board and the Survivor board for her parents moments before the annual Terry Fox Run starts from Heritage Ranch on Sunday.

She writes in memory of her late father Ken Miller and for her mother, Jean who is a breast cancer survivor.

Her family has participated in the run for five years but this year has special meaning because of her mother’s journey over the last year.

Jean Miller was diagnosed in October 2010 with breast cancer, went through various treatments and was given a clean bill of health from doctors in early August.

Miller, of Gull Lake, decided not to walk this year but to sponsor her daughter and her family.

“I am feeling wonderful,” said Miller, 70.

Of the more than 300 participants in the local annual run/walk for cancer research, it is safe to say most have similar stories about cancer loss and cancer survival in their lives.

Loretta Winia, run organizer, said her nephew had the same cancer, osteosarcoma, as Terry Fox and went through a similar experience.

He lost his leg and developed cancer in his lungs. He was diagnosed at 18 and died within a year.

“Our family has been touched by cancer many times as have everyone else,” said Winia.

“It’s just one of those causes that you get out there and fight for.”

This weekend’s fundraiser brought in $16,000 for cancer research.

Last year’s run drew 200 participants and collected more than $16,000 for cancer research.

In 2010, runs across Canada raised more than $3.2 million at 118 runs and 1,200 school events.

The fact that 85 per cent of the money raised at the runs go to research is what keeps Winia involved with the Terry Fox Foundation year after year. She likes knowing some of the cancer research that is being done in Calgary and Edmonton are being funded through the runs.

“These funds you raise today may have an impact on research that is being done in the province,” she said.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

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