Para-athlete rolls with the Terry Fox Run crowd

Stefanie Barber says inclusivity a major draw at last Sunday’s run

Stefanie Barber gets ready to compete in the Terry Fox Run at Mile Zero on Sunday. Barber used the race to train for the Summer Paralympics in 2016.

Stefanie Barber didn’t think she’d be back to racing at this time last year.

In 2010, the 27-year-old with spina bifida underwent five surgeries. Memories of that time, and the chronic pain, leave her fighting back tears, but it also highlights the importance of competitive sport in her life.

The surgeries, she said, were touch and go. “Not in terms of survival, but in terms of quality of life.”

At stake was her place on Team B.C. Para-Athletics.

She credits her regimen of training for her speedy recovery.

People underestimate what exercise can do for you, she said. “Training really mentally puts you in a better place. When I train, nothing else matters. It’s just me and the road and it takes away everything that may be bothering you.”

On Sunday, Barber was the only registrant in the Terry Fox Run to race in a wheelchair.

Racing a route on wheels amid a sea of runners is always a great experience for Barber.

For one thing, she’s faster than those of foot. Barber finished the race in 20 minutes. And rather than feeling self-conscious about her difference, Barber loves the exposure.

“People with disabilities can get out and be involved with community events, and feel like they belong,” she said. “It really is an eye opener for kids. They can see the potential of everybody.”

It’s a message Terry Fox himself brought to a generation of Canadians by attempting to run across the country despite having lost a leg to cancer. While Fox died before Barber was born, his legacy reached her indirectly.

“Rick Hansen was inspired by Terry Fox to do his Man in Motion World Tour and I’m inspired by Rick Hansen,” she said.

Barber dreams of making Team Canada for the 2016 Summer Paralympics.

“Terry always talked about hope and I live on hope,” she said. “That’s gotten me through some pretty tough times.”

This year, the Victoria Terry Fox Run attracted 850 runners and volunteers, and raised  $27,000, plus $12,600 through the coinciding Great Canadian Hair-do event.

 

 

Just Posted

The shores will not rock in 2019

Atomique Productions announce Rock the Shores festival will not return in 2019, future is uncertain

Video shows logging operation on disputed Saturna Island land

Tsawout First Nation members opposed to logging on reserve land

Family still searching for missing Langford man two weeks after disappearance

Family hopeful he is alive, offering $10,000 reward

Victoria police concerned about missing man’s well-being

Delmer was reported missing on March 19

Fracking, economy, climate at centre of Green Party town hall in Metchosin

Green Party leader Elizabeth May and local candidate David Merner take questions from community

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read