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Fred Fox encourages students to follow brother Terry’s example

Terry Fox’s brother Fred visited Prince Edward County schools Monday morning to honour students and the community for supporting the Terry Fox Run over the years and to remind students to follow their dreams.

At Athol-South Marysburgh School, Fox used a slideshow presentation of childhood family photos to explain the impact his brother had on the country and himself, and to share lessons from Terry’s inspirational run.

“I’m proud to be able to share Terry’s story,” said Fox. “Now when I visit schools I’m often speaking with people who weren’t born when Terry did the run and here everybody is, being involved all these years later.”

Fox presented Athol-South Marysburgh with banners created two years ago – for the 30th anniversary of Terry’s plan to run across Canada – honouring every five years of participation and to thank the community for raising $59,900 in his honour.

“Terry could never have imagined that everybody would be so involved all these years later. He started with a simple idea to raise money and awareness for cancer,” Fox said. “Terry is such a great example for kids. It’s not all about cancer and raising money to find a cure, but it’s also about the example that Terry set – of working hard, being honest and having integrity.”

Terry Fox was 18-years-old in 1977 when he was diagnosed with bone cancer and forced to have his right leg amputated six inches above the knee. While in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research in a “Marathon of Hope”.

He started his run in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980. Enthusiasm grew and the money collected along his route began to mount. He ran 42 kilometres (26 miles) a day through Canada’s Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario.

On Sept. 1st, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles), Terry was forced to stop his run outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario because cancer had appeared in his lungs. Support to continue his cause poured in from across the country and overseas. He died June 28, 1981 at the age 22.

Brothers Fred and Darryl Fox continue the work of the Terry Fox Foundation, founded by their mother, Betty Fox, who died last year. Close to $500 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research.

It is estimated Betty Fox spoke to more than 400,000 school children during her 25 years of touring the country, sharing the inspirational story of Terry’s Marathon of Hope. The final words of every speech were “Never, ever give up on your dreams”.

Terry Fox's oldest brother Fred does a lap around Athol-South Marysburgh School with students.

The Athol South Marysburgh school community was thanked for supporting Terry's dream over the past 25 years.

Filed Under: Featured ArticlesHastings & Prince Edward District School Board

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  1. Whitney says:

    Betty was an amazing woman. Every time she spoke it was with conviction and love. I was honoured to meet her a few times through my work with the Durham Regional Terry Fox initiative, and it’s wonderful to see that Fred was able to make it to Athol South Marysburgh to continue to spread both Terry and Betty’s messages of hope. The Terry Fox Foundation will always have an incredible impact on communities and lives in Canada. Thank you to everyone who has every run, walked, biked, rolled and donated to help the fight against cancer!

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