Two years ago, Scott Perry just needed a sport that would keep him in shape throughout the winter. He started running on a treadmill and has been running ever since.
“Buying new clothes is expensive,” the Westboro resident laughs. “I just needed some sort of exercise that would carry me through the winter. But I really caught onto it and I really loved it.”
Now Perry is taking his passion for running and hoping to raise money for a cause that is near and dear to him.
On October 5, he will be taking part in the Sears Great Canadian Run – an annual 100 kilometre relay that takes place from Ottawa to Montebello, Quebec and raises money to end children’s cancers.
“I don’t have children myself, but what you go through as a parent, I can’t imagine,” says Perry, whose friend’s child was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma in 2010.
Cole, who was five years old at the time, had a 12-centimetre tumour in his abdomen and lesions in his lungs and liver. The tumour had also grown to enter a major vein and into his heart. After 12-hour life-saving surgery, Cole began his treatments – and today, has just celebrated his two-year anniversary of being cancer-free.
While Cole was sick, Perry says he saw his friend’s emotional struggles and he knew he wanted to help in any way he could.
He decided to take part in the relay this year with his team, Cole’s Cancer Crusaders. As a team, they hope to raise $25,000 with each individual member hoping to raise about $2,500 each.
The team is at more than 80 per cent of their goal and Perry says he’s well on his way to achieving his personal goal.
“Fundraising has been a lot of fun,” he says.
In addition to his personal connection to children’s cancer, he says he was motivated to take part in the run after hearing how little money there is that goes to pediatric cancer.
“It’s the number one killer of children in North America, so that’s pretty impactful to me,” he says.
Perry adds that it feels great to take his love for running, and use it as a way to give back to an important cause.
He’s remained an active runner over the past two years, and even recently spent his holiday in France running – but also training for the event.
“When I was in Corsica, I was doing some hill running. When I got to Paris, I ran a 10K along the Seine and I just loved it,” Perry says.
Before taking part in this event, he says he didn’t give much thought to fundraising before. But now, Perry says getting involved in the Sears Great Canadian Run has showed him ways that people can give back in their own way.
“It’s made us think about other causes and other creative ways to fundraise,” he says. “It really gets you thinking.”
Click here for more information and to donate to Cole’s Cancer Crusaders.