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State Honoree

Brendan Maas

New Mexico

Brendan Maas, 17, of Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has helped organize the Terry Fox Run to benefit cancer research and facilities in Santa Fe for five years, and for the past two years, has co-chaired the event. Brendan's family was touched by the story of Terry Fox, a man who ran across Canada after losing a leg to cancer. Just before he died, Fox asked Brendan’s brother to continue the run, and it has been a pledge the Maas family has fulfilled since Brendan was just a baby. "The Run has been part of my life for as long as I can remember," said Brendan. "I wanted to run, too, like the big kids, but wasn't allowed until I was 6 years old." Since then, Brendan has collected $8,000 in personal pledges for the 12 events in which he has run, and as a member of the organizing committee, he has secured donations and implemented event plans. The run has raised over $175,000 since its inception, distributed to The American Cancer Society and to St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe for the construction of its new cancer wing. Brendan uses his experience with The Terry Fox Run to encourage other kids to get involved in charity work. "I learned that it is amazing what can be accomplished when small efforts of many people are coordinated."