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New Zealand man reaches Vancouver on cross-Canada run inspired by Terry Fox


Jon Nabbs has been running for more than 300 days in a row.

His journey started in St. John’s, Nfld., last spring, after Nabbs became inspired by Terry Fox’s story.

The New Zealander decided to run from coast to coast across Canada, raising money for children with cancer.

"Physically, it's been incredibly challenging, especially across the Prairies and the Rocky Mountains during winter time,” he said, reflecting on his trek.

With just a stroller of his belongings, Nabbs has been running nearly seven hours each day on his journey to reach Victoria, B.C.

On Thursday, he arrived in Vancouver, where he stopped at the BC Children’s Hospital before running to city hall to meet with Mayor Ken Sim.

While part of his inspiration comes from Terry Fox, Nabbs was also motivated by his own family's experiences with cancer.

"I lost dad to skin cancer in 2020 and mom to bowel cancer in 2021, so they are certaintly a huge inspiration for doing this run," he said.

So far, Nabbs has far surpassed his initial fundraising goal of $60,000, recently reaching $90,000. His ultimately goal is to collect $100,000 to donate to Childhood Cancer Canada, as well as the Child Cancer Foundation in New Zealand.

Childhood Cancer Canada is an organization that provides information and supports to parents of children diagnosed with cancer. Executive director Angie Ramalho noted that often times, parents must stop working to help their children attend appointments and ensure they receive "the best care possible."

"We recognize that and we support them financially," Ramalho said. "I don't want to say it's a lifeline but it's definitely a relief of some sort."

Ramalho described Nabbs as "just a wonderful person" whose heart is "in the right place."

According to the organization's statistics, cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among Canadian children. Approximately one in five do not survive their diagnosis.

Nabbs said he has been touched by the cancer stories people have shared with him on his journey across the country.

“So many people throughout this run across Canada, they come up to me and tell me how cancer has affected their own family and their lives,” he said.


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