Terry Fox and the Carden girls

terry-fox-running-across-from-monument

Terry Fox running through Burlington on his Marathon of Hope in 1980. The lives of millions of Canadians were changed forever by the courage of a very young man.

The Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research, an annual event in Burlington since 1981, won’t take place this year – the social distancing rules determined by the COVID19 pandemic doesn’t permit large gatherings. And Terry Fox events are very large gatherings

There is a collection of people who have done outstanding community service to grow the event to the point where they have raised $2.2 million.

They were not prepared to just let the event dribble away – it was going to take more than a pandemic to close them down.
The committee running the virtual event this year has taken a very creative approach to informing the community and telling parts of the unknown story.

Profiles of the people who got the event to where it is today appear on the Terry Fox Burlington Facebook page and are being republished by the Gazette with permission.

 

By Burlington Terry Fox Run Committee
July 28th, 2020
BURLINGTON, ON

carden family on promenade

The Camden’s: Isabelle, Grace Sean and Tanya sitting in Spencer Smith Park.

It’s been over three years since the Carden girls, Grace, now 11, and Isabelle, now 9, asked their parents if they could have a lemonade stand. Parents, Tanya and Sean resisted, but the girls kept asking, as young children often do, and a compromise was made.

Izzy and Grace could have a lemonade stand in their complex, but only if the money went towards a charitable cause. Mom, Tanya Blizzard-Carden, had already signed up for the Burlington Terry Fox Run, so it was settled that that would be their cause of choice.

Armed with markers, the girls made signs and the family whipped up some lemonade and a few baked goods to sell. The event was such a success that they decided to make it an annual fundraiser.

Sisters Grace and Isabelle
Upping their game (with a little help and support)
Due to the popularity of the baked goods, Tanya had to expand their menu. Several family members got involved to bake. Last year they even added gluten-free options to make it more inclusive. Everything sold!

As you can imagine, when a simple lemonade stand expands beyond one’s expectations, and you’re donating all the money to charity, it gets expensive. Sean and Tanya recognized that they needed some help. Isabelle and Grace approached the local No Frills and the owner was happy to supply them with the ingredients they needed to bake and make lemonade and iced tea.

Carden girls with lemonade stand

The Carden girls were out there selling their lemonade to support the Terry Fox Run for a Cure for Cancer.

The family also got a lot of support from Burlington Dads, a community group of local dads that Sean Carden is a member of. Many of the Burlington Dads showed up from all across the city and donated 10, 20, 50 even a 100 dollars to the cause after Sean told them what the girls were doing.

Last year, a family friend who’s a firefighter showed up at the lemonade stand with a fire truck, which was fun for the kids.

Why Terry Fox?
The Terry Fox Run was a natural fit for the Cardens, as they had personally been touched by cancer, as many of us are. They were also looking for an organization that they could support as a family.

The Burlington Terry Fox run is a very inclusive event. We welcome people of all ages and abilities to take part. For Tanya and Sean it was nice that they could all do it together.

What about 2020?
Due to the current Covid-19 situation, the Carden family knows that there cannot be a lemonade stand this year. However, as a family they are determined to do something to raise money for Terry Fox.

When I asked them if they had any advice for people facing difficulties this year, Sean had this to say:

CArden girls with fire fighters

Burlington Fire Fighters dropped by for a cool one.

“This year has been strange on so many levels. I’ve said to people, ‘we’re figuring this out together.’ No one knows what’s going to happen next week, but we deal with it together. If Terry Fox and the Foundation is something you have supported, either financially or getting out and doing the walk or run, in the past, stick with it. Even though it’s not going to be the same, it will be some semblance of normal.”

And Isabelle said that she would want to do the run on any day because she just wants to help people. Her final message to me was that she just wants everyone to be happy and safe. With comments like those, you can tell she will be a Terry Foxer for life.

 

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2 comments to Terry Fox and the Carden girls

  • Phillip Wooster

    Thank-you so much for your involvement and dedication to these valuable causes.

  • Roberte Rivard

    As a neighbour, I am always impressed by this young family. Their involvement and participation in many worthwhile societal causes is inspiring. They are happy and proud of their accomplishments because they make a difference. Way to go Cardens!

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