iRun magazine has published the stories of the 12 runners chosen for their third edition of the annual iRun national awards. iRun magazine writes: “The winners run against all odds and they run hard. We congratulate these incredible athletes and are proud to share their stories with you”. Here is an excerpt of the iRun story on Bill Pristanski:
Over the past 30 years, Bill Pristanski has only missed one Terry Fox Run — in 1991, when he was outside of Canada for his honeymoon. “I still ran my own 10 kilometres on Terry Fox day, even though I was in Maui,” says Pristanski. “My wife cheered me on and held the stopwatch.
The 55-year-old Pristanski personifies three decades of dedication, not only to the Terry Fox Foundation, but also to the memory of his mother, Lorna Pristanski, who died of breast cancer in 1983. “Seeing Terry was very inspirational to her,” says Pristanski of his mom, who was diagnosed about three years before Fox embarked on his historic, cross-Canada run in 1980. “My mother really believed that if you had a positive attitude, you could try to beat it (cancer), and she fought it for another three years.”
Over the years, Pristanski says he has seen a dramatic change in the fight against breast cancer. “When my mom was still alive, 80 per cent of those women diagnosed with breast cancer would die of the disease,” he says. “Today, because of the research and early detection methods resulting from contributions from the Terry Fox Foundation, 80 per cent of women with breast cancer are able to fight the disease.”
Encouraging as that is, there is much more to be done, says Pristanski, and he, for one, is not going to sit idle. In fact, his fundraising record is just as impressive as his 30 years of consecutive Terry Fox runs. This year, he boldly committed to Fred Fox — Terry’s older brother and the director of supporter relations at the Terry Fox Foundation — that he will raise $30,000 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Terry Fox Run. To date, he has already collected $25,000 towards this year’s goal. If he hits $30,000 in fundraising this year, it will bring his cumulative tally to a whopping $300,000 over the span of three decades.
Pristanski might be just the sort of individual Fox was thinking of when he wrote in his original fundraising letter that “the people in cancer clinics all over th world need people who believe in miracles.”
To pledge to Pristanski, visit terryfox.org and click “The Terry Fox Run.” Click “Donate to a participant” and enter “Pristanski” in the search field to direct your donation.”