Fred Fox is still amazed at the legacy his brother, Terry Fox, has left on Canada and the world.
Fox was in Victoria Tuesday preparing to begin his yearly cross-country tour, where he pays homage to his brother, the beloved Canadian hero whose 1980 pilgrimage inspires thousands to walk, run and roll every September, nearly four decades later.
“People see the values and characteristics that Terry represented and I think people feel that it’s important to keep it going,” Fox said.
Terry started his marathon of hope on April 12, 1980, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, four years after his right leg was amputated above the knee following the discovery of a malignant tumour. He stopped the run in Thunder Bay, Ont. after covering 5,373 kilometres. The cancer had spread to Terry’s lungs and he died less than a year later – just a month shy of his 23rd birthday.
Terry was gone, but his goal had set forward a collective energy for change and determination. The first Terry Fox Run was held Sept. 13, 1981 and attracted 300,000 participants across 760 sites.
And that was only the beginning.
Today, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $715 million for cancer research.
And his brother emphasized the importance of remembering that Terry’s run wasn’t about Terry. He did it for everyone impacted by cancer.
“When Terry was running, people saw that Terry wasn’t doing it for any gain or benefit to himself. He was truly out there to help other people,” Fox said. “We’ve all been touched by cancer. Every one of us in some way will be touched by cancer. We might not get it ourselves but we’ll know somebody – a family member or friend.”
I see, as Terry’s brother, how people have grabbed onto his legacy. People of all ages. I get to visit schools with young kids … it’s so amazing to see that continue.”
Victoria has raised more than $787,000 since 1985 and continues to come together for Terry’s legacy.
In Victoria, those who want to show their support can head to Terry’s monument at Mile 0 (near Dallas Road and Douglas Street) on Sept. 15. Check-in starts at 9 a.m. and opening ceremonies start at 9:45 a.m., followed by the 13th annual Terry Fox Great Canadian Hair-do, where firefighters from Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt and Oak Bay will “lose their locks” to raise money for research. The five-kilometre run begins at 10:30 a.m. Participants can run, walk, bike or wheel.
Registration for the Central Saanich Terry Fox Run starts at 8 a.m. in Centennial Park, with the run starting at 9 a.m.
On the West Shore, registration for the Terry Fox Run starts at 9 a.m. at West Shore Parks and Recreation Centre, with the run starting at 10 a.m.
For more information visit terryfox.org.
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