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Kolade Odetoyinbo's Fundraiser:

A Week in His Shoes: A Terry Fox Run Initiative

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BENEFITING:

Kolade Odetoyinbo

THE STORY:

My name is Kolade Odetoyinbo. I am a fourth-year Bachelor of Medical Sciences student at the Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. Every year since the 6th grade, I’ve participated in the Terry Fox Run/Walk campaign. Each year my participation has become more important to me. It’s an event that fosters a sense of community and camaraderie in the name of a great cause. I can think of no greater example than Terry Fox Run hosted by Western’s Charity Orientation Committee every September, which brings together students, faculty, staff and London residents alike.

I have a mixed relationship with cancer. As a science student captivated by the human body, the topic of cancer is one that inspires a great deal of intellectual curiosity. It stands as possibly the most complex and varied disease in the world. It can be studied at so many levels that it’s hard not to want to find out more and more. But for all the incredible progress that’s been made with regards to our understanding how cancer works and how to combat it, there is still a great deal we don’t know. The mechanisms of how it begins, disseminates and damages within the human body is just as, if not more, frightening than it is fascinating. Beyond its direct effects on the individual within whom it grows, cancer has the unparalleled ability to dramatically affect the lives of people connected to cancer patient. I can attest to this, having lost a grandmother, grandfather and aunt to the disease.

Confronted with all the problems that cancer presents, it would be all too easy to say, “This is impossible”. Finding a cure often seems like an insurmountable hurdle. But I think if most of us were asked, “Could you run across Canada after losing a leg?”, we would give exactly the same response. Terry Fox showed us that if we’re willing to take it on one step at a time, the impossible isn’t always that far out of our reach.

Being only a year younger than Terry was when he started his run, the magnitude of the challenge he embarked on seems to hit me harder than ever. It’s for this reason I’ve decided to take on a personal challenge inspired by his Marathon of Hope. Terry Fox ran a mind-numbing 42 kilometres every day he was on the road—a marathon a day. After 7 days, he would have clocked almost 300 kilometres. To get a small taste of what he experienced, I’m pledging to run the same distance over the course of the next 40 days, with the goal of raising research funds and awareness for a disease that affects far too many.

I’ve set a goal of $2400, reminiscent of Terry’s $24 million dollar target for his Marathon of Hope; the proceeds will be donated to the Terry Fox Foundation. Any amount you are able to donate is appreciated, as well as your words of encouragement. Although I’ve set a symbolic 300-kilometer goal, if there is the opportunity to go beyond that, I will take it without hesitation. I trust that you will follow suit in your support.

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