The Terry Fox run is very near and dear to the heart of an Errington grandmother.
For the past four years Micheline Messner’s 12-year-old grandson Ben Campbell has been battling the same cancer that took Terry Fox’s life.
Just like Terry, Ben had to have one of his legs amputated to remove the cancer. He has also had several tumors removed from his lungs and while his last set of scans have come back clean, the disease could rear it’s ugly tumors at any time. Ben gets scanned every three months at the Texas Children’s Hospital where he has lived with his family since moving from Calgary over five years ago.
Since Ben was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, every September his big brother Robert, mom, dad, friends and neighbors in Katy Texas have held an evening “Walk for Ben” to raise funds for cancer.
“They have been overwhelmed by the generosity of all who participated,” said Messner.
She admits Ben’s journey has been difficult and painful with numerous chemo treatments, blood transfusions, scans and the amputation of his leg.
She said Ben has been feeling many mixed emotions. He is scared that his cancer won’t go away and he just wants to be a kid who can say that he is a cancer survivor.
“Because of donations to cancer research he can now live a normal life and hopefully beat the beast that lives inside,” she said.
Messner said although her grandson Ben is fighting his cancer battle in Texas, his fight is just one of many going on around the world and every donation no matter what amount is making a difference.
“If Terry Fox were diagnosed today, he may have had a better chance at beating the same bone cancer that Ben has survived with for four years now. Thank you Terry for helping find a cure for cancer,” she added.
Messner is urging everyone to “Please donate because one never knows when cancer might strike. We all know the agony of someone with cancer. Please walk this Sunday and donate for a good cause.”
Messner said she will be walking wearing a sign that says “I am walking for Ben”.
The Parksville Terry Fox run starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday Sept.18 at Rathtrevor Provincial Park. Registration is at 9 a.m. at the picnic shelter band shell. The National School run day is Wed., Sept. 28.