WEYBURN -- For 40 years communities across the nation have celebrated Terry Fox and kept alive his dream of funding cancer research. For 38 years, eager crowds gathered for the Terry Fox Run in September to walk, run or ride together. In 2020 a tiny virus, different from a cancer cell but just as dangerous, stopped the Run Day gatherings, but it cannot stop the spirit of Terry Fox.
Every Canadian can still donate to fund cancer research. This year is the 40th anniversary of the Terry Fox Run, and the slogan is “One Day, Your Way.”
Terry Fox had lost his leg to cancer at age 18. He went home, but he could never forget the children who never left the cancer wards. His dream was to inspire every Canadian to donate one dollar for cancer research and treatment. To do that, he tried to run across Canada.
In 1980, right after he dipped his steel foot in the Atlantic Ocean he turned westward and did his now-famous ‘hop-hop-swing’ gait for 26 miles every day for four months covering 5,373 kilometers across six provinces - his Marathon of Hope.
Cancer stopped him near Thunder Bay, Ont. In great pain he finished his 26 miles then asked to be taken to the hospital. He died the following spring at home in Vancouver. He did not reach his goal to run across Canada but he did reach his goal of raising awareness and money for cancer research. Friends and supporters organized the first Terry Fox Run and The Terry Fox Foundation. Over the past 40 years, $850 million dollars have been raised for cancer research.
Just when residents thought they knew everything about Terry, a new detail has been made public – the Fox family has Metis heritage from their maternal grandmother, Mary Ann Gladue.
The commemorative T-shirt for the 40th Run combines beauty and meaning in patterns of traditional floral beadwork. Below his name and stylized silhouette, the shirt has the Foundation’s mission statement “For Cancer Research” in three languages: in the Metis’ traditional language, Michif, in French, and in English. Check the website for the T-shirt and other merchandise available for sale.
Individuals are encouraged to register, to do what they can and to donate at TERRYFOX.org.
Let us change with the times but not change Terry’s dream – to rid the world of cancer with one little step at a time from millions of Canadians.
Let’s all #tryliketerry.