The Halfmoon Bay Elementary School’s annual Terry Fox Run isn’t until Oct. 15, but first grader Eli King is ready for his first-ever fundraising run.
The five-year-old (soon to be six, he points out, with his birthday on Oct. 9) has already raised more than $1,100 in memory of his grandmother, fondly known to her 12 grandchildren as “Bubs.”
Judi Libin was a Sunshine Coast resident for the last seven years or so. She and Len, her husband of 47 years, built their dream house in Gibsons about three years ago.
Eli’s parents moved their family from Pemberton to Halfmoon Bay in July to be closer to their maternal grandparents. Then, a week after being diagnosed with her second bout of cancer, Libin was taken to the hospital and passed away the following week on Sept. 8.
“This is important to me, so I can show my grandmom how good I can run, because she passed away. And I’m trying to raise this money for her,” Eli told Coast Reporter at Friendship Park in Sechelt.
“I’m very proud of him,” Eli’s mom, Shayla, said. “I think it says a lot about … the connection they had.”
Eli does not stay still for long. The first grader is bursting with energy, and loves to move. The youngster “runs like the wind”, and is also active in soccer and recently began rock climbing class at Strait Up climbing gym. He also knows quite a bit about Terry Fox, the young cancer patient who attempted to run across Canada with the help of a prosthetic leg, in 1980.
“I think it’s amazing,” Eli’s grandfather, Len, said. “He seems to have an excellent understanding of what it’s about and what he’s doing.”
He said Eli and his grandmother had a very close bond, and he thinks this year’s Terry Fox Run will only be the first in an annual tradition for Eli.
When Eli’s mom told him that he raised more than his goal of $500, she captured a video of a beaming Eli saying, “I’m going to save the world!”
Eli’s online fundraiser can be found at secure.terryfox.ca/registrant/FundraisingPage.aspx?RegistrationID=4990960.