Last week marked a major achievement for the Kenora Catholic District School Board.

The board surpassed its $100,000 goal for donations supporting the Terry Fox Foundation, collectively raising $105,580.61 for cancer research.

This is an important milestone for KCDSB, but for the staff and students at Pope John Paul II School, it meant so much more than exceeding a goal. It meant supporting those in the local community.

Student James Henry was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March 2014. Now in Grade 6, James shared his story with his school last week about his battle with cancer.

“I was sore, weak and sick all the time.  I couldn’t do anything,” said James. “It has been three years now since I started treatment and I am considered cancer free. On October 3rd, in five days, I will be done my cancer treatment. No more needles, no more pills. I will be free. I did it. I beat cancer!”

James is not the only student within the KCDSB community that has been impacted by the disease.

“Chloe Poirier is a Grade 8 student at St. Thomas Aquinas High School who is living with cancer every day,” said Phyllis Eikre, Director of Education. “She’s been in our community since junior kindergarten. We’ve watched her grow up.  Chloe continues to inspire us with her strength of spirit.  For Chloe, just coming to school and feeling good is an achievement for her that so many of us take for granted.”

Courageous students like James and Chloe have inspired the Kenora community to keep giving back.

The Terry Fox Run initiative was started by teacher, Suzanne Gaudry from St. Thomas Aquinas High School for the school in 2000. Sadly, Suzanne passed away after a short battle with cancer 12 years ago, but the initiative she began continues to raise money for the Terry Fox Foundation to find a cure for cancer.

Although the $100,000 mark has been surpassed, KCDSB will continue to raise funds for the foundation and work toward helping those in need.

Ontario’s Catholic schools make a big impact – share your story of community involvement today at