Expo 2020 Dubai: Thousands take part in Terry Fox Run to support cancer research

The fundraising event takes place annually in 33 countries across five continents


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Sat 5 Feb 2022, 11:07 AM

Last updated: Sat 5 Feb 2022, 10:46 PM

Saturday saw over a thousand enthusiastic visitors of all ages join in the popular Terry Fox Run that took place for the first and only time through the world pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai to mark World Cancer Day.

Raising funds for cancer research projects in the UAE, the event had special significance for many of the participants as a way to pay tribute to family or friends affected by cancer, and to support ongoing research to find a cure for the disease.

The family fun run was held under the patronage Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airlines and Group and chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, who supported the very first Terry Fox Run in Dubai in 1994. This year’s event hosted by Expo 2020 Dubai was organised by the Canadian Business Council Dubai to support Al Jalila Foundation.

The Terry Fox Run is recognised around the world for its continued contribution to cancer research for more than four decades. It takes its name from a young Canadian university student who lost a leg to cancer.

Wanting to give hope to cancer patients, the amputee athlete ran 5,373 kilometres - close to a marathon every day for 143 days - to raise funds for cancer research. When he had to stop running due to the return of cancer, millions of people around the world decided to continue his quest by taking part in The Terry Fox Run.

Now an annual event in 33 countries across five continents, the Terry Fox Run has evolved into one of the largest fundraising events in support of cancer research in the world.

“Today’s historic Dubai Terry Fox Run demonstrated the commitment of the UAE and its community in contributing to cancer research that could save generations in the future. We are truly grateful for the support and enthusiasm by all those who walked, ran, organised, assisted and entertained today, and of course, for the generous donations to cancer research,” said Ara Sahakian, former executive director and volunteer consultant to the Terry Fox Foundation, at the closing of the event.


Professor Frank Branicki from United Arab Emirates University said "We have been working with Researchers funded by Canada’s Terry Fox Foundation since 2013 to advance cancer research in the UAE, which is gaining momentum."

"More than Dh8 million has been raised and funded for various UAE cancer research projects to date. Today, UAE researchers are leading various important investigations to find effective treatments for cancers worldwide.”

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