Jane Goddard goes to physiotherapy once a week to help with the degenerative disk disease affecting her back. She’s had two surgeries over the years and the 65-year-old wants to avoid a third. She used to run, but no longer can.
So every summer, she walks a marathon.
Goddard’s son David died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma when he was 25. She organizes a walk around Pincher Creek each year to raise funds for cancer research and to honour his memory – one mile for every year he lived. Goddard says she raises about $4,000 each year and usually convinces seven other people to join her on the walk.
Goddard, a former breast cancer patient, keeps a remarkably low-key attitude about her considerable fundraising efforts. “I just don’t want to be 85 and say, ‘Look, I could have walked a little extra for my son,’ ” she says. “The people who are really heroes, like Terry Fox – look at what they did. And they were sick when they did it.”
Ask her about the walk and Goddard quickly points out the contributions of others, like her training partners or her husband, Doug, who follows the walkers in a grey pickup to make sure they stay safe – two years ago, the group spotted two grizzlies while en route.
But Goddard organizes and animates the whole thing. Though she’s lost her father, sister and son to cancer, she’s positive. “There is a cure out there for cancer,” she says. “There really is.”