20,000 turn up for 19th Terry Fox Run in Abu Dhabi

20,000 turn up for 19th Terry Fox Run in Abu Dhabi

Dh387,000 raised for cancer research through donations, T-shirt sale


Olivia Olarte-Ulherr

Published: Sun 23 Feb 2014, 12:13 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 6:02 AM

Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak and participants during the Canadian Embassy’s Flag Day celebrations before the Terry Fox Run at Abu Dhabi Corniche on Friday. — KT photo by Shoaib Anwer

More than 20,000 people turned out early on Friday morning at the Abu Dhabi Corniche to participate at the annual Terry Fox Run.

The non-competitive event was inaugurated by Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, and his son, Shaikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, and attended by Canadian Ambassador to the UAE Arif Lalani.

Also at the event were Terry’s sister, Judith Fox-Adler, and her daughter, Jessy. Both flew in from Canada to participate in the Run.

According to Nafisa Taha, founding member and chairperson of the Terry Fox Foundation, about Dh387,000 was collected on the Run day from donations and T-shirt sales.

“Last year, we collected around Dh260,000 on the day, but overall, we raised about Dh750,000. We are hoping to do the same or more this year when we collect from corporate pledges and companies who bought T-shirts,” Taha told Khaleej Times.

The Abu Dhabi Run, now in its 19th year, is the biggest outside of Canada. It was participated by over 130 organisations and schools, families and individuals, who ran, jogged, walked and used roller blades and skateboards starting from Khaleej Al Arabi to the Corniche Hospital and back.

Money raised at the Run is used to support cancer research in the UAE.

On Friday, four cancer research projects, funded by the Terry Fox Foundation over the past three years, were presented the final instalment of Dh285,000 of their grant. The total value of the research projects is Dh1,189,000.

The research projects include studies on overcoming resistance to cancer treatment drugs; the use of genetically mixed retroviruses for gene-based cancer therapy; the role of anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. aspirin) in preventing cancer cell growth, as well as, the effects of various genetic factors on cancer progression and; a new strategy to aid the body’s immune defences to tumours by inhibiting a type of white blood cell that protects the tumours.

Since the first Terry Fox Run was held in the country in 1994, the even has collectively managed to raise about Dh15 million, financing 42 cancer research projects conducted at different universities, hospitals and institutes across the UAE.

According to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), there are an estimated 14.1 million cancer cases around the world every year, with this number expected to increase to 24 million by 2035. Scientists estimate that about a third of the most common cancers in a highly developed country, like the UAE, could be prevented though diet, physical activity and controlling weight.

Donations can be made by cheque to Terry Fox Run or through Union National Bank (UNB) 
account number 7401065015 
and IBAN number: AE140450000007401065015.


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