Exhausted runners with Gatorade energy drinks in their hands, NCC volunteers marching along with placards containing awareness messages, a contingent of kids on roller blades and a few souls on bicycles.

All that and more happened at the Terry Fox run organised at the YMCA grounds on Sunday. The event conducted every year all over the world in memory of Terry Fox, a Canadian athlete who suffered from bone cancer, was held in the city for the first time.

The idea behind the run is Akash Dube, a 17-year-old student diagnosed with ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukaemia) earlier this year. I have been approached by complete strangers who offered to donate blood to keep the cancer in check, for as long as I want. I was touched by the concern and kindness. This event is my way of giving something back, he said.

He added that the primary focus of the run was to create awareness and also to raise money for research. The money raised will be donated to the TATA Memorial Centre for fundamental research into cancer. Awareness is very important in the case of cancer as early detection significantly improves the chance of a cure.

Peter Bremberg, a cancer survivor whose leg was amputated because of bone cancer like Terry Fox himself, said that awareness really does help. It is probably only because of the attention that Terry Foxs marathon of hope generated and the subsequent funding for research that Im standing here today. Terry Foxs story should be shared.

A contingent from the Canadian embassy participated in the run. Shaun Wedick, counsel and senior trade commissioner, said that 300 million dollars have poured in as donations for research through various Terry Fox runs since its inception. It is great that the event has reached India. I hope this becomes an annual fixture, he said.