12,000 to join Terry Fox Run's fight against the disease, says Liffy Thomas

Put on your jogging shoes and head to IIT-Madras to join thousands of others who are waiting to run, walk, bicycle for a noble cause.

The fifth edition of the annual Terry Fox Run Chennai is taking place on Sunday (August 25) from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

This year, enthusiasm for the run is bound to escalate.

The Chennai Terry Fox run committee is expecting close to 12,000 participants.

Last year, about 10,000 participants ran for a “cancer-free world.” “Come and celebrate Akash’s life, Terry’s life, other lives lost to cancer, and the lives of those who are fighting hard now,” says Sujatha Dube, Akash’s mother, who is mobilising various groups to carry forward the run started by her son in the city.

Akash was 17 years old when he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

“Initiating the run gave me something to do when my chemo was on,” said Akash, in an interview with this reporter at his grandparent’s home in Srinagar Colony, Saidapet. Thus began the Terry Fox Run Chennai in 2009. Akash fought a long and hard battle against cancer but passed away on May 11, 2012.

Every year before the run, Akash was actively involved in mobilising school students. All he wanted from schools was five minutes to address students during assembly and talk about cancer and how the proceeds collected from the run would go for a cause. It’s no different this year too. “We have split the work. I handed some posters to schools. There are students from Sishya who are going to schools to campaign,” says Sujatha, an alumnus of IIT-Madras. His friends have been a great support. “Recently, his friends ran the Dubai Terry Fox Run with Akash’s pictures on their t-shirt,” adds Sujatha. The Rotary Club of Madras East, IIT-Madras and Cancer Institute are a few other organisations helping build momentum for the run. Registration through SMS (9677291291) has been introduced for the first time. “Nearly 300 volunteers, including school students, are helping us out,” said S. Shivaram, committee member, Rotary Club of Madras East. The registration for the event opens at 7 a.m. today at the venue.

For details, visit www.terryfoxrunchennai.in

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