“I put that s**t on everything!”
The line has made actress Jean Hamilton famous, but she admits she didn’t want to say it the first time she saw the script.
The determined 91-year-old has faced many things she didn’t foresee in her lifetime, including three bouts with cancer. She’ll be talking about her experiences at this year’s Cloverdale Terry Fox Run at the Cloverdale Legion on Sunday, Sept. 14.
Autographed bottles of Frank’s RedHot Sauce will also be available by donation at the annual fundraiser for cancer research.
Hamilton’s first experience with cancer was cervical cancer at age 34. Radiation then was not selective, and most of her month in hospital was spent recovering not from the cancer, but from the radiation that had cooked her entire abdominal cavity. She had two young children at the time, “and I just knew that dying wasn’t an option.“
When doctors recommended a radical mastectomy after the discovery of a lump in her breast when she was 50, Hamilton says, “I decided that radical treatment was not on the books any more. I opted for a lumpectomy, and they removed almost half of my left breast.“
Nine years later, the cervical cancer recurred, requiring more surgery.
The great-grandmother began her acting career at age 86, after a friend gave her name to an agent. It was her fifth career. She had worked in the T. Eaton Co. mail order house, which she left to pursue an accounting degree while working as a skip tracer.
When the Second World War ended and the men came home, she was fired. She ran her husband’s business for 23 years, but after their divorce she found she’d gone from well-to-do to poor. What then began as administering a survey for the city welfare department morphed into her handling client intake, and eventually getting her accreditation as a social worker through UBC extension courses.
After several years of travelling with her second husband, she spent three years housesitting, then ran her own gardening business until she herniated a disc.
She thought she was retired until the agent who’d been given her name called and told her she had an audition for her. She auditioned the next day. When they told her, “You’re perfect!” she responded, “Thank you very much. I know I am.”
Since then, Hamilton has shot print and TV ads in New York and London, England. She admits that she likes a break after an hour or so of work now.
“I simply don’t have the energy I had when I was 80.“
Registration for the annual Cloverdale Terry Fox Run begins at 9 a.m. in the parking lot of the Cloverdale Legion at 17567 57 Ave. Hamilton will speak shortly before the run starts at 10 a.m.
New to the event this year will be a Kids Zone play area with face painting, sidewalk chalk,
bubble blowing and a clown making balloon animals; prize draws for new participants (one adult and one child) as well as a returning participant who brings a newcomer; and an entire tent of Terry Fox memorabilia as part of the popular silent auction.
The auction, which features more than 100 items for sale, is a significant part of the local run’s
fundraising for cancer research. Local Cloverdale merchants are major contributors to it,
donating many items and gift certificates, adds local committee chair Elaine Gooliaeff.
Families whose children may not get a chance to do the Terry Fox Run at school this fall are
welcome to come out and take part in the community event.
The one-, five- and 10-kilometre routes are open to all, with no registration fee or minimum donation required. Runners, walkers, cyclists, strollers and leashed pets are all welcome.
There will be new Terry Fox merchandise available for purchase, with entertainment and food on site. The entire event will be emceed by Kim Seale of Rock 101.
“Everyone is welcome to come,” Gooliaeff says. “It’s a fun, family morning for a great cause.“
For more information or to volunteer, contact Elaine at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other local Terry Fox Runs on Sunday, Sept. 14:
• Bear Creek Park, King George Boulevard and 88 Avenue, next to the Pavilion.
Registration is at 8 a.m., run starts at 9 a.m. Routes are 1-kilometre, 5km, and 10km. Suitable for bikes, wheelchairs and strollers. Not suitable for rollerblades. Dogs on leash welcome.
• Fraser Heights Recreation Centre, 10588 160 St.
Registration is at 9 a.m., run starts at 10 a.m. Routes are 2km, 5km, and 10km. Suitable for bikes, wheelchairs, strollers and rollerblades. Dogs on leash welcome.
• Rotary Field House, South Surrey Athletic Park, 148 Street and 20 Avenue.
Registration is at 8 a.m., run starts at 9-9:30 a.m. Routes are 1.5km, 6km, and 10km. Suitable for bikes, wheelchairs, strollers and rollerblades.
• Sungod Arena, 112 Street and 79 Avenue.
Registration is at 9 a.m., run starts at 10 a.m. Routes are 1km, 5km, and 10km. Suitable for bikes, wheelchairs, strollers and rollerblades. Dogs on leash welcome.