Man running across Canada for cancer research passes through Ottawa

A Winnipeg man is running across the country to raise money for cancer research after being inspired by Terry Fox’s journey.

Jackson Charron-Okerlund spent the weekend running through Ottawa after starting his journey on the east coast in March. The 25-year-old has already raised thousands of dollars.

“The journey so far has been something I’ve never imagined,” Charron-Okerlund said. “From all the support from everyone from all the way from the Maritimes, where we started, to all the way now to Ottawa.”

Charron-Okerlund is calling his journey, ‘Coast to Coast for a Cure.’ He said the trip has been a lifelong goal after seeing the impact that cancer has had on so many people in the country.

“I might get a little tired, but so be it,” said Charron-Okerlund. “When it comes to people fighting cancer every single day, they don’t get a break.”

The runner averages a marathon a day. He started his journey in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

“The biggest spot for me is going to be Terry Fox’s final steps, but it’s going to be really sad to reach the final steps because from then on I’ll be alone and he never got to take steps past that point,” he said.

His childhood friend, Robert Ingrim, is helping along the way.

“I usually drive about 10 kilometres ahead and that will be about two hours of walking for him or less if he’s jogging,” Ingrim said. “I’m there with food and water or if he needs to change gear because of the weather.”

The pair had an initial goal to raise $50,000, and have already raised $35,000.

“Being able to raise this much money and it goes towards research and finding a cure, even paying for treatments, it’s something that’s really close to my heart,” Ingrim said.

The two are hoping to finish their cross-country trek in British Columbia by July.

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