Have you heard about Scott Cannata yet? Not a lot of people have. The only reason I did is that he’s a local boy. He went to my daughter’s school, years ago.
He’s running across Canada to raise money for cancer. A marathon a day. Sound familiar? Terry Fox is one of his heroes.
Scott’s not a cancer survivor, but his mother is. She was diagnosed when he was around twelve, I think, and it affected him deeply. I guess if I were to stretch for a writing tie-in, that would be it. Character motivation and drastic action. I’d rather keep this about Scott, though.
The kids from my daughter’s school are heading out to see him today. I’m going, too. Because he’s not Terry Fox, and he’s not getting a lot of press (Terry Fox didn’t either, at first), but it’s a brave thing he’s doing.
Cancer has hit my family pretty hard. It sideswiped my life a few years back, too. My daughter was two when I got my first diagnosis, and about a year and a half later, I was battling lymphoma, sarcoma and thyroid cancer all at the same time. I understand wanting to do something, to act out against it. Against any outside force that sweeps in and changes things without your permission.
I wasn’t even through chemo yet, and still had weeks of radiation ahead, when I started training to walk a half marathon through Team in Training. Sensible? No. On my first training walk, I nearly passed out when I bent over to tie my shoelace. Satisfying? Yes. I needed to show my body who was boss.
It was probably the world’s slowest half marathon (accompanied by my lovely sister-in-law, who was extremely pregnant at the time), but on a rainy day in Ottawa, Nancy and I did it. Cheered on by family and friends, stopping at every port-a-potty along the way.
Scott Cannata is doing something a lot bigger than a turtle-paced half marathon. He’s taking on Terry Fox’s dream. That’s one heck of a legend to have looming over you. I’m probably doing him a disservice by bringing up Terry, but I think the comparisons are inevitable. Still, Scott deserves some recognition in his own right. How many twenty-somethings would give up such a large chunk of their life for a cause? He’s a runner, he’s healthy, I think he has a good shot at making it all the way; I just wish more people were paying attention.
He’s supposed to be coming through Whitby at around 11:00 or so today. I’ve made a donation, and I’m going out to see him. If you’re local and see this, or if you live west of here along his route, please keep an eye on his website to see when he’s coming through your community!
Next post will be writing-related, I promise.