By Ashley Coleman,2014-05-14 18:15
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    Canadian hero. On April 12, 1980, Terry Fox set out from St. John’s, Newfoundland, located on the Eastern tip of Canada to begin his Marathon of Hope. For 143 days, he ran an average of 42 km. per day. Unfortunately, on September 1st, his run across Canada ended near Thunder Bay, Ontario, half his scheduled way, after he had run 5, 373 km. Terry had to be hospitalized because the cancer had spread to his lungs.

    ? Terry Fox decided his marathon was to have no commercial link whatsoever, and he turned down every corporate sponsorship. His principles were to carry a message to fight cancer and raise funds for cancer research.

    ? The Terry Fox Run of Cuba began in 1998. The first Run was organized to start from the area surrounding the Oncological Hospital, and as of 1999, the running route was moved to the Marabana short circuit at Prado, just across Kid Chocolate Hall. The characteristics of this event, its widespread impact, humane character and intrinsic solidarity have claimed the participation of prominent figures of culture and sports who have been promoters of the Terry Fox Run and its message against cancer.

    ? Until 2002, the Terry Fox Run first 5 editions were only held in Havana City. As of 2003, the Run is now held under the official calendar of INDER’s MARACUBA in all 169 municipalities of the


    ? At present, The Terry Fox Marathon of Hope or Terry Fox Run organized in Cuba has the largest participation outside Canada and is the only Run involving the largest number of people running simultaneously in the world. This has earned it recognition by the Terry Fox Foundation and the Canadian Government on several occasions.

    ? Over the years, this event has become a popular phenomenon and a symbol of friendship and fraternity between the peoples of Canada and Cuba who identify Terry Fox with loftiest values such as stoicism, perseverance, human solidarity and selflessness.

    ? In Cuba, every year, voluntary donations are made by many

    agencies, companies and individuals. Additionally, the

    Embassy of Canada in Cuba organizes a charity night to raise

    funds for cancer-related research at the Oncological Institute.

    ? During the Terry Fox Run edition of 2007, 4 652 runs were held

    across the country with 2 287 986 participants. These figures

    turned the Terry Fox Run of Cuba into the largest such

    marathon outside Canada. Funds raised by the Canadian

    Embassy in 2007 amounted to $64 905.40 Canadian dollars

    that were donated to the Oncological Hospital for the financing

    of cancer-related research projects.

    ? These ten years of the Terry Fox Run in Cuba have seen the

    participation of over 8 million Cubans. The runs have raised

    more than 140 000 U.S. dollars.

    ? Members of the Terry Fox Organizing Committee are: Ministry

    of Foreign Affairs, INDER, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of

    Culture and the Embassy of Canada in Cuba who make a call to

    prominent figures of sports and culture as well as active

    athletes, cancer patients and the population at large to join and

    participate in local runs.

    ? The 2008 country-wide Terry Fox Run is scheduled for March

    15. National countdown to start the Run will be marked by

    Radio Reloj at 10:00 AM. Called to join the Run are all those

    who are willing to participate. In accordance with your physical

    condition, all the people who can walk or run are welcome to

    join as an expression of the human solidarity that has always

    characterized our people.

    ? This year, special marathons will take place in the tourist

    clusters of Varadero, Holguin and the Northern Cays of Ciego

    de Avila as well as in the City of Cienfuegos, the only twined

    city with a Canadian town.

    ? Since cancer patients or people who have suffered from cancer

    may join the Run, all agencies involved shall maximize the

    measures taken in order to ensure the greatest efficiency in

    any medical emergencies.

    ? The Run circuits shall no exceed 3 000 meters and alternative

    circuit has been foreseen for participants to walk or run any

    distance according to their physical condition.

? The Terry Fox Run Related Programme of Activities includes:

    - March 6, 10:00 A.M.: A press conference by the Organizing

    Committee at the International Press Center.

    - March 7: A charity night at the Canadian Ambassador’s

    residence including a fundraiser auction of works by

    prominent visual artists.

    - March 8: A special performance by Group Anacaonas at the

    Ministry of Culture Pergola.

    - March 13 and 14: Cuba-Canada Scientific Workshop on Cancer

    Education and Research.

    - March 14: A Cultural Marathon of Hope at Pabellon Cuba

    including book sales, photo exhibitions, activities with children,

    etc… and a concert by top artists.

    Projects financed with Terry Fox Run proceeds at the Cuban

    National Oncological and Riobiological Institute (INOR):

    1- Cyto-histological characterization of monoclonal antibody ior-HPV1 and its role in the diagnosis of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) of the Cervix.

    Under this project, a characterization has been done of an INOR-generated monoclonal antibody that recognizes HPV subtype 16 (more commonly associated with cervical uterine cancer). This antibody has identified the presence of the virus in cervical tumor tissue specimens and in vaginal cell extensions, as well as in other tissue specimens like those obtained from colorectal tumors.

    The best practical application is a fast and accurate diagnosis of viral infection with vaginal cytology tests in the screening for cervical cancer. This warns against the increased risk of developing cervical cancer. This method can be easily applied countrywide.

A Study of Breast Cancer Families

    A representative group of breast cancer families was examined under this project. This study paved the way for the creation of a Breast Cancer Family Registry in Cuba. Gene mutations causing this hereditary cancer were characterized, and an Advisory Service on Breast Cancer Genetics was opened at INOR.

    Fund raising for these two projects has been completed. Other projects will be launched also relating to breast cancer and gene-expression elements that may produce resistance to oncological drugs. Gene expressions were evaluated at the First Cuba-Canada Scientific Meeting held in the framework of the 2007 Terry Fox Run. Attending this meeting were the Cuban scientists involved in the project and two Canadian Senior Research Scientists: Dr. Steve Norod, an outstanding researcher in genetics and breast cancer from Toronto University and Chair of the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Committee, and Dr. Verna Mai, expert in cancer screening programmes, Chair of Ontario Cancer Screening Program and of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

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