Millions of Cubans participate in local edition of Marathon of Hope

 Millions of Cubans participate in local edition of Marathon of HopeHAVANA, March 17th  About two million Cubans participated on Saturday in the national edition of the “Marathon of Hope” devoted to Terry Fox, a young Canadian athlete who raised money for cancer research after having a leg amputated due to the disease.

Patrick Parisot, the Canadian ambassador to Cuba, told reporters in Havana of his emotion at seeing the large amount of participants.

“I’m very excited to see so many people gathered here. Cubans and Canadians share the common values of solidarity and friendship, commitment and respect for the legacy that Terry Fox gave us,” said the diplomat.

Parisot added that Fox would be very happy to see that his extraordinary effort against cancer had not been in vane, at seeing so many young, adults and children in the streets of Havana on such a special date.

He highlighted that the massive participation was truly an example of the generosity and human solidarity of Cubans for a right cause.

The 21st edition of the three-kilometer Terry Fox Run was held simultaneously in the 167 municipalities of the country with the departure signal given by the official Radio Reloj at 10 a.m.

The Marathon of Hope pays tribute to the young Canadian Terry Fox, who lost his right leg due to osteosarcoma, but tried to run from one Canadian coast to the other with a prosthetic leg.

His intention was to collect funds and raise the awareness of society on the necessary investigation against cancer.

Fox ran 5,373 kilometers in 143 days, but his race was interrupted by the disease and he died on June 28, 1981, a month before turning 23.

The Cuban version of the Terry Fox run this year saw the participation of over 2 million people, according to figures from the National Sports Institute.

The Terry Fox Foundation has acknowledged that Cuba is the country which sees with the largest participation in the race, after Canada.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death  in Cuba.