The bright Sunday morning on 25th Aug 2013, saw the ever calm campus of IIT Madras, came alive with a milling crowd of over 15,000 men, women and children of all ages and walks of life, gathered enthusiastically for a major cause – to support the ‘Marathon of Hope’, ‘to spread awareness on CANCER’, with the same spirit as its initiator, “Terrance Stanley ‘Terry’ Fox”, a Canadian athlete and a cancer research activist.
The event named as “Terry Fox Run” is held across the world and was brought to India by Akash Dube who fell victim to cancer after putting up a strong fight. The Rotary Club of Madras East organized the 6km walk at IIT Madras to raise funds for Cancer Research. The event was flagged off by the Chief guests, Dr.S.S.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya, Lt. Gen VK Pillai, Chief of the Southern Army Command and Officer’s Training Academy and Sri.L.S.Ganesh, Dean, IIT Madras.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr.Badrinath said he was extremely glad to see such a large gathering on a Sunday morning expressing their solidarity with the fight against cancer; he expressed his gratitude to the Rotary Club of Madras East, which had organized the massive event for the cause of eye cancer research.
All along the run were fervent participants including infants clinging on to their mother’s arms, the feeble and the old and the ever spirited youth, all geared to send a clear message – to spread cancer awareness. The crowd was emotionally charged when the critical message was delivered by a palliative care patient, who despite his ailment actively took part in the run.
The Sankara Nethralaya stall put up at the venue educated the eager participants on the evils of Retinoblastoma – a cancer of the eye, caused in children and the research activities of the foundation, to aid complete cure, with the help of posters and hand-outs. The grand rally closed with a strong message to the world at large on the need to create awareness on cancer and its prevention. The Terry Fox grant for cancer research would be made available to Sankara Nethralaya to support its research initiatives in retinoblastoma.