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    The Terry Fox legacy

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    Darrell Fox continues the fight against cancer famously begun by the legendary Canadian Terry Fox more than 30 years ago

    The Canadian’s heroic battle against cancer continues.

    By Sarah Hoy

    Darrell Fox, the brother of Canadian hero Terry Fox, recalls all too clearly all those years ago when his famous brother had to give up his inspirational Marathon of Hope. He departed on his Marathon of Hope in 1980 with brother Darrell by his side.

    Terry’s legacy lives on and he remains an inspiration to those young and old today. Darrell believes that “Terry would like to be remembered for giving his all to help others and for illustrating that one person can make a difference.”

    He continues: “He was never fond of the hero label or that he was special or better. Terry believed each and every one of us has the ability to realize our dreams and the only limitations are self-imposed.”

    Just 17 years old when the marathon started, Darrell saw it as an “adventure.” He says: “My first flight and the first time I was away from home. Hanging out in a van with Terry’s best friend and driver Doug, taking in our country one mile at a time and witnessing a nation embrace my brother. The feeling of excitement and awe will always be within. I still marvel at Terry’s physical and mental accomplishments wondering where and how he found the strength to go on.”

    Darrell remembers the three-month journey they took together and finds it difficult to pinpoint a favourite memory. “There are so many… For me, maybe it was when Terry could relax, smile and laugh – his smile was brilliant and radiant. It illustrated that Terry was pleased and proud that Canadians were joining him and believing in his mission.

    Because of Terry’s full days of running, these moments were very few and far between, so they always surface when I reflect back to 1980.”

    Today the Terry Fox Run is a national event, where thousands gather to walk, run, jog and stroll in Terry’s name, continuing to raise funds for the fight against cancer. The first run took place just three months after Terry’s passing.

    He always thought his brother’s battle would continue. “From what I witnessed, and as a younger sibling I believed, at that time, that Terry was invincible and he would return stronger than before and finish his run. It took years to understand and accept the loss.”

    “We see the run and all other activities and events that bear the Terry Fox name as a continuation of the Marathon of Hope. Terry said after being diagnosed a second time that ‘it has to keep going without me.’ Canadians have picked up the Marathon of Hope baton and for this we are forever grateful,” he says.

    Darrell is the Senior Advisor of the Terry Fox Research Institute. The foundation as a whole continues Terry’s fight. He says: “The Terry Fox Foundation has raised over $600 million for cancer research over the past 32 years. We are a grassroots organization with a small staff totally dependent on Terry Fox volunteers who organize over 10,000 fundraising events each year in Canada and worldwide. More recently the Terry Fox Research Institute was created to manage and allocate close to $30 million annually to Terry Fox research programs across the country. We are committed to eradicating cancer and will not rest until Terry’s’ dream, and our own dream, has been realized.”

     

    By the numbers…

    The Terry Fox Legacy:

    • 2013 is the 32nd anniversary of the Terry Fox Run.
    • Terry Fox Foundation is responsible for supporting close to $20 million in discovery based research each year in Canada.
    • A no entry fee, no minimum pledge and non-competitive run.
    • No corporate sponsorship.
    • In 2011, 1,139 of cancer research projects had been funded by The Foundation.
    • On September 1, 1980 Terry stopped running after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles).
    • There are 14 schools and 15 roads in Canada named after Terry.
    • Over $600 million has been raised for cancer research by the Terry Fox Foundation.

    This year, the Terry Fox Run will take place on September 15. To find your nearest event, visit terryfox.org.

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    A runner for just over four years, Karen has already completed a marathon, two half marathons and a variety of 5k and 10k races. She describes her first marathon - the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon last September - as "a nightmare." However, she met a very interesting person in the process - a man named Sydney who was running his 152nd marathon! Although the race didn't go as well as planned for Karen or Sydney, he showed her that no matter how experienced a runner you are, you can still have a bad day. "Does that mean we shouldn't bother to prepare, or maybe just shouldn't bother at all? Of course not!" says Karen. "In the end, it is what we make it." We like her optimism!