Terry Fox cancer research crusader carries on after own battle

Article content

Les Hay has never missed a Terry Fox Run and he vows this year will be no exception.

Although this year’s Terry Fox Run will be a “virtual” event because of the pandemic, Hay plans to run on Mount Royal this Sunday, even if he has to walk most of the way.

Over the decades, Hay has raised more than $460,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation for cancer research.

He was hoping to crack the half-million mark this year — until his own cancer got in the way.

Hay, a retired Bell employee who turns 74 in November, received a prostate cancer diagnosis in May 2019, a few days before his annual Raise a Club to Cancer Golf Tournament.

“I didn’t tell anyone at last year’s tournament because I didn’t want to take away from the event,” he said.

In the ensuing months, Hay endured a painful series of radiation treatments that often left him bedridden and clinging to hope for a full recovery.

“I’ve had both my hips replaced over the years and the radiation treatments I took couldn’t pass through the prosthesis. So they increased the dosages from hip to hip and back to back, bypassing the hips. I just had my intestines, my bladder and my rectum, everything burnt to hell and back. I had about three months of severe bleeding.