The Terry Fox Event has been a beloved TAISM tradition since 2008 when the first run was held under the guidance of former TAISM teacher Joel Nelson. Each year since, the event has brought our community together to celebrate wellness and contribute to cancer research at Sultan Qaboos University right here in Muscat.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our plans for the 2021 Terry Fox Event at TAISM were changed, but our students, parents, and staff's enthusiasm remained as strong as ever. "
"We had anticipated that the 2021 event would be scaled back, but it wasn't," says Laura MacDonald, our Middle and High School Health and Wellness teacher and current coordinator for the Terry Fox Event. "A lot of people signed up, and we did an online assembly and a relay over two days."
This year's theme was hope, and events centered on giving others hope and finding our own. In addition to the relay and assembly, the High School Student Council Service Committee organized a PepFest band performance in the TAISM parking lot where students played music and raised money for cancer research.
Our students and volunteers also sold over 700 Terry Fox t-shirts and stickers to raise money.
"There are two parts of Terry Fox at TAISM," says MacDonald. "One is raising money. The other is teaching students the importance of giving back as a community."
The Terry Fox Foundation coordinates events at an international level in memory of Terry Fox, a Canadian diagnosed with osteosarcoma at 18, leading to the loss of his leg and igniting a drive to help find a cure for cancer. Today, the foundation helps schools and organizations coordinate events and connect with local cancer research efforts for donations.
Each year, TAISM donates funds raised by the Terry Fox Event to research projects at the Sultan Qaboos University. In the past, donations funded a project that collected and analyzed statistics on all cancer patients across Oman. As a result of this project, the survival rates of childhood leukemia in Oman have risen from around 30% to 80-85%.
This year, TAISM has been connected with a new breast cancer study in Oman, and proceeds from the 2021 event will fund this new research project.
While we are always proud of our families and staff, we are incredibly proud of how our TAISM community persevered in 2021 to keep hope and the Terry Fox tradition alive during this challenging year.