Carolyn Dixon walked with a heavy heart Sunday morning.
The Murrayville resident was among many who wrote on a tribute poster laid out on a table at the Terry Rox Run, that started and finished at Douglas Park Sept. 15.
Her words: "In Honour of our son Andrew, always 'ride on.' Carolyn, Tom."
Andrew Dixon, an avid cyclist, died from a rare form of sinus cancer on June 21.
He was 35 and is survived by his family that includes his two young children.
Carolyn wore her son's cycling jersey during her walk, because, she said, "he couldn't."
Andrew rode in the Ride To Conquer Cancer benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation in 2009 and 2011. He registered for this year's ride held June 15-16 but wasn't able to take part because he was in hospice care.
"His friends all rode for him," Carolyn said. "So I'm wearing the jersey that he couldn't wear."
Leading up to the ride, Andrew wrote on his sponsorship page: "I have first hand experience with the treatment and support services offered through the BC Cancer Agency with funding coming from the BC Cancer Foundation."
Asked how emotional this year's Terry Fox Run is for her, Carolyn answered, "Extremely."
"We've got some friends we're going to be walking with, me and my husband [Tom]," she said. "This has very special meaning to us."
The 33rd annual run was held across Canada and the world, to honour the memory of Terry Fox while raising millions for cancer research.
To raise awareness and funds in his fight against cancer, Fox ran an average of 42 kilometres every day for 143 days before the disease forced him off the road on Sept. 1, 1980 On Feb. 1, 1981, Fox's dream of raising $1 for every Canadian was realized - the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope fund totaled $24.17 million.
Fox died June 28, 1981.
To date, more than $800 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Fox's name, with 84 cents of each dollar raised through the Terry Fox Foundation going to cancer research.
The two Langley fundraisers went off as planned, thanks to the work of organizers and volunteers.
But in a few communities across Canada, including Abbotsford, Terry Fox runs were cancelled because of a lack of volunteers.
This came as a surprise to Midori Turner from the Rotary Club of Langley Sunrise, who organized the Walnut Grove run. "I did not hear that," said Turner, in her first year organizing the run. "That's too bad."
Turner said she has been touched by cancer, with family members battling the disease.
In Langley City, participants ran, walked, cycled, and travelled in buggies along one-, five-and 10-kilometre routes, starting from Douglas Park at 10 a.m. Organizers of the City fundraiser thanked volunteers and called the event, which generated close to $9,000, a great success.
"Everyone had a great time. We wanted to raise money and we wanted to salute Terry's epic Marathon of Hope. We wanted to celebrate a true Canadian hero, and we did!" said Lilianne Fuller, the 2013 chair of the Langley City volunteer committee.
There were 262 registered participants. And at the run site in Douglas Park, visitors were invited to enjoy the festival atmosphere and have fun.
Volunteers were in abundance, as well.
"A total of 58 volunteers came together to make the event a great success. Considering some runs were cancelled due to a lack of volunteers, we consider ourselves blessed," Fuller said. "Langley truly is a volunteer hub."
Plans are already underway for next year's run.
Walnut Grove participants, including Township Mayor Jack Froese and former Township councillor Howie Vickberg, started their run/ walk/ride from the Walnut Grove Community Centre an hour earlier.
"We feel it's a great event for the community," Turner said. "[The] Terry Fox [Foundation] does a great job of supporting the event as well. This is just an easy project for us to take on and help out the community, and help promote awareness about Terry Fox and his cause."
@ Copyright 2013