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St. Lazare

Can Hudson-St-Lazare community put one woman’s quest to run 52 marathons in 52 weeks and raise $52,000 over the top?

Today, Wednesday, Oct. 17, marks the one-year mark in Ruth Magnus’s quest.

Last year, this St-Lazare resident set out on a fundraising mission: She was going to run 52 marathons in 52 weeks with the goal of raising $52,000. She was inspired, motivated and ready.

Today, she is preparing for the last leg in that journey. It comes on Sunday, when she sets out from her house in St-Lazare, runs over to Bedard Park in the centre of town and then takes her show on the road one last time – for about 30 kilometres. But unlike all the times she has run during the past year, she will not be alone. Magnus’s last leg is turning into a celebration. And just like a year ago, she is inspired, motivated and ready. But this time, she will be quite emotional about the whole thing. It has been an amazing journey.

It really started about two years ago, in October 2010. That is when Magnus lost one of her best friends to cancer. The friend was Lynn Guillotte. Many people in St-Lazare knew Guillotte, myself included. She was 50 years old when she died of cancer.

In the year that followed Guillotte’s death, Magnus, who was by Guillotte’s side almost every day during her battle with the disease, thought about her friend. She thought about the frighteningly tough times cancer patients go through. She thought about how thankful she was to have her health. And she thought about moving forward. It’s a luxury that belongs to those who are healthy. And the plan was hatched.

In the past year, Magnus has run the equivalent of a marathon – 42.2 kilometres – every week. With the help of a friend, Elizabeth Harwood, another resident of St-Lazare, she set up a website. Magnus decided the campaign would benefit the West Island Cancer Wellness Centre, run by another St-Lazare resident, Debbie Magwood. Then she invited people to donate to her effort. She called it Just Keep Running. Then, she ran. And ran. And ran.

By Sunday, she will have run 2,194.4 kilometres. The question that still has not been answered is: How close to her goal of $52,000 will she get? And that is where more people who live in the Hudson-St-Lazare area come in.

So far, Magnus has raised about $34,000. Hundreds of people have contributed to this total. Now, some of these same people and others are pulling out all the stops to get her to her goal. The excitement in the community is growing.

Can it be done?

It can, if people decide to make it happen. That is all it takes – a decision. Make a small contribution. Join the movement. Be part of something. Support Magnus. Write a cheque. Put a few dollars in the hand of her supporters when she runs through your town on Sunday. Go to her website and make a pledge. Tell someone else to do the same. That’s all it takes. Put a smile on your face. Think of someone you know who has battled or is battling cancer. And do it. Being able is another luxury that belongs to those who are healthy.

A friend of Magnus’s, Patricia Godin, made a decision. Instead of accepting a gift of an all-expenses-paid trip to Hong Kong for two from her employer to mark her 15th anniversary with the company, she asked the company to make a donation to Magnus’s campaign. They did. And Godin presented Magnus with a cheque for $3,000 on Monday evening.

Big or small, if you live in St-Lazare, ask yourself: What can I do? Then do it.

On Sunday, Magnus will be leaving her house in Saddlebrook at about 10 a.m. She will make her way to Bedard Park on Bedard Ave. in the centre of St-Lazare (arriving approximately at 10:45 a.m.), where she will be met by a group of supporters. From the park, she will run along Ste. Angelique St. to Grand Pre Ave.

She will then drive to Vaudreuil Community Centre (arriving approximately at 11:40 a.m. She plans to run along Highway 20 through Dorion into Pincourt, head along 5th Ave, through Île-Perrot and cross the Galipeault Bridge (at approximately 1:15 p.m.). Once in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, she will run along Lakeshore Rd. into Baie-d’Urfé, hitting Morgan Rd. at about 11:40 a.m., and into Beaconsfield. She hopes to arrive at the West Island Cancer Wellness Centre, 489 Beaconsfield Blvd., Beaconsfield, at about 2 p.m.

Once you have made your decision, add a comment here and share it with others in the community.

To view Magnus’s Just Keep Running website, click here.

One comment

  1. By Brenda O'Farrell

    This email was just sent.

    Hello Brenda, my name is Eddy Nolan. I live in Ile-Bizard and I am also a stage-4 cancer survivor for these past 18 months. I read the story today about Mrs. Magnus and her wonderful effort with the marathons to honour her friend. I have also had the opportunity to use this facility in Beaconsfield, which I felt really helped me when I was at my worst. Anyway, I was wondering if their was something you might be able to help me with. I have an autographed Mario Lemieux Hockey Jersey that I am willing to auction off and give 100% of the proceeds to Mrs. Magnus and the Wellness Centre. I am sure we can get over one thousand dollars for it, as I had a Sidney Crosby sweater at one time and got $1,350.00 for the Terry Fox Foundation which I have been running and raising funds for for 32 years now. I hoping you can help me…. I am truly impressed by this lady’s actions and that of the Wellness Centre. I had received this sweater from a doctor friend in Beaconsfield and I really think it would be neat to keep the amount raised in the community. Hope your interested.
    Thank you Brenda,
    Eddy Nolan

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