Waterloo man with cerebral palsy finishes Terry Fox Run
A Waterloo man with cerebral palsy was celebrating Sunday, after he successfully completed the Terry Fox Run.
Dave Dame, who sometimes uses a wheelchair, trained for 18 months to prepare for the 5 km walk.
“Knowing I have everybody around me, giving me their energy and support, it makes me maybe forget I have cerebral palsy for a short moment,” he said.
Dame lost 50 pounds over the year and a half that he trained for the event.
He crossed the finish line in just over four hours.
“I think it’s important that we all put our personal struggles aside to really focus on other people for a moment,” he said. “That way we really have diversity of purpose, which makes inclusion a hope for all.”
Dame’s team helped raise $62,000 for cancer research.
“He just embodies all of Terry Fox’s values,” said Derek Hergott, director of the Waterloo Terry Fox Run. “He is the epitome, in my mind, of Terry Fox. It’s just so wonderful to see him in action, gritting it out.”
This year, participants in the Waterloo event has a choice of joining an in-person event COVID-19 protocols or completing the walk and run on their own.
“It feels fantastic,” said Hergott. “We did have to follow local public health guidelines, but it just so great to be [here] in person and to see other people.”
In other communities, like Wilmot, the Terry Fox fundraiser was only held as a virtual event.
“The community engagement has been incredible,” said Nigel Gordijk, co-organizer for the Wilmot Terry Fox Run.“People have taken part in our community videos. We’ve done public service announcements that we’ve created online, including our virtual opening ceremony, which was streamed on Facebook. We had dozens of people involved with that.”
Gordijk said the eventtypically has about 150 participants, but that couldn’t happen due to gathering restrictions. Instead, they were encouraged to find a way to get out and walk or run on their own.
Some local companies in Wilmot are also donating proceeds from their sales to the foundation.
Gordijk said about $30,000 has been raised this year.
The Terry Fox Foundation, which uses the money for cancer research, accepts donations year-round.