Reflecting on his brother Terry Fox’s amazing and enduring legacy, Fred Fox visited Red Deer’s Don Campbell Elementary School June 1st.
Fred spent the afternoon visiting with teachers, students, volunteers and supporters of the Terry Fox Run events in the community.
The annual Terry Fox Run is set for Sept. 16th. It’s the legacy of Terry’s ‘Marathon of Hope’ to raise funds for cancer research that took place in 1980.
In March of 1977, Terry learned he had a malignant tumour in his right leg, which was eventually amputated 15 cm above the knee. He died on June 28th, 1981 – one month short of his 23rd birthday.
More than $750 million has been raised since worldwide in Terry’s name to fund the most promising and innovative research in Canada.
Fred, who is Terry’s older brother by 14 months, is very passionate in his role at The Terry Fox Foundation and never misses the opportunity to thank the many volunteers that have made the Foundation the success it is today, according to a Foundation release.
“I’m here in Red Deer to say hi to all the students and staff here, and to thank them for their participation in the Terry Fox Run this past September, and to just share Terry’s story,” he said, adding he likes to chat with youngsters about his brother’s values.
“Thirty-eight years ago Terry was running – he would have been in New Brunswick somewhere today. He would be so proud to know that young kids are continuing his legacy and dream. He would be so proud to know that,” he said.
“Terry wanted to raise money to make a difference in other people’s lives, and that’s exactly what they do when they hold their Terry Fox runs. It’s not all about raising money for cancer research, but also about the characteristics that Terry represented – hard work, determination and never giving up. They can live by that, too.”
Fred was also joined by community businessman Stephane Pilon during the school visit.
Pilon raised $7,000 in honour of Terry Fox while racing in the World’s Longest Kayak Race in 2017.
Meanwhile, Fred speaks at schools and community events throughout the year to share his personal story about growing up with Terry and some of his memories of his brother’s journey during the Marathon of Hope.
Fred said that his late mother Betty used to visit schools and organizations as well talking about the Foundation and Terry’s legacy. “We lost her seven years ago, and our dad two years ago,” he said. “So my brother and my sister and I do what we can to follow what our mom used to do as well.
“I can’t think of a better example than Terry in terms of being a leader.”
As mentioned, the local Terry Fox Run is slated for Sept. 16th at Heritage Ranch.
“We are really trying to get more people out in Red Deer,” said Jennifer Harman, co-organizer of the event along with Loretta Winia and Lori Hutchings. “Usually, we get about 300 to 350 people.
“It’s a very family-friendly event,” she said.
“This year, we’re also hoping to reach the half-million dollar mark for the local run,” she said, adding that since the local run’s inception several years ago, they are only about $8,000 away from that remarkable milestone.
“That’s our big goal this year.”