Red Deer’s Terry Fox Run pulled in about twice the money this year, due in large part to a Red Deer university student recently diagnosed with cancer.
In June, Nevan Smith found out he had desmoplastic sarcoma, a rare and aggressive childhood cancer.
He was determined to raise $5,000 for the Terry Fox Run. Instead, he received about 90 donations that totaled $12,461.
“Word of mouth got out,” said Smith who wanted to thank family, friends, strangers and anonymous donors to his campaign through the Terry Fox Run website.
Overall, $30,000 was raised by the run, up from $18,000 in 2011, for the Terry Fox Foundation.
At the Sept. 16 run, Smith, who is undergoing chemotherapy, managed to walk the 10-km route accompanied by friends.
“It took a long time. There were times when I was completely fatigued.
“It was funny because most of the event had wrapped up by the time I finished so there wasn’t many people there.”
Smith wants to continue to try to raise money for cancer charities.
This year, 350 participated in the Red Deer Terry Fox Run, up from 225 in 2011.
Lorretta Winia, Red Deer Run organizer, said Smith not only did a lot to increase the amount of money raised, he helped boost the participation rate with his team of family and friends.
The warm weather likely encouraged more people to come out as well, she said.