Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP)

Terry Fox’s legacy of resilience resonates during COVID-19 crisis, says brother

Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as COVID-19 rages on

It was 41 years ago to the day on Monday that Terry Fox dipped his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Spear in St. John’s, Nfld., to start his Marathon of Hope in support of cancer research.

Fox, who lost part of his leg to osteosarcoma at age 18, wasn’t sure how long the cross-country trek would take, his older brother says.

But the young athlete from Port Coquitlam, B.C., knew he had to keep putting one foot in front of the other in order to reach the finish line.

“Terry believed in taking things one step at a time, one day at a time,” said Fred Fox, manager of supporter relations at the Terry Fox Foundation. “And that’s what we’ve all had to do in these troubling times.”

Terry Fox ran close to a marathon a day for 143 days before cancer in his lungs cut his journey short in Thunder Bay, Ont., on Sept. 1, 1980. He died in June the following year, a month shy of his 23rd birthday.

In the decades since his death, Canadians have carried on the activist’s quest through the annual Terry Fox Run to help raise more than $850 million for cancer research, according to the foundation that bears his name.

But Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as the COVID-19 crisis rages on with no end in sight.

“This global pandemic isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. And that’s exactly what Terry did every day,” he said.

“We don’t know how much longer we’re going to be dealing with this COVID-19 pandemic… (But like Terry), we all have to be determined.”

According to the Terry Fox Foundation, more than 650 communities across Canada come together each fall for fundraising runs in support of cancer research.

But last September, organizers had to pivot to a “virtual run,” encouraging people to find pandemic-safe ways to honour Fox’s mission.

Fred Fox said participants’ creative initiatives made the event a “huge success,” although the amount fundraised fell short of previous years.

As the COVID-19 crisis has caused disruptions to cancer care, he said it’s all the more important that Canadians continue to support efforts to fight the disease that touches so many lives.

“What we’re going through has been devastating for so many people,” he said. “But cancer doesn’t take any breaks. And research can’t either.”

Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press

CoronavirusTerry Fox

Just Posted

Construction work in 2020 at Nelson’s Mountain Station reservoir. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
New report outlines how to protect Nelson’s water sources

Document looks at stream flows, forests, terrain stability, wildfires, flooding, and more

South Okanagan MP Richard Cannings wants to see dental coverage for all Canadians. (courtesy of Pixabay)
OPINION: South Okanagan MP fights for universal dental care

One in three Canadians have no dental coverage, with COVID making it even worse

COVID-19 cases are once again dropping across the West Kootenay. Illustration: BC Centre for Disease Control
Ten new cases of COVID-19 in Nelson area

Numbers are steadily dropping across the West Kootenay

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Portions of the Skattebo Reach Trail are being improved. Photo: Betsy Kline
Skattebo Reach Trail near Castlegar to become cycle friendly

Trail improvements geared towards cyclists being done in 2021

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

The Libby Dam on the Kootenai River in Montana. The dam created the Koocanusa Reservoir, which straddles the B.C./Montana border. (photo courtesy Wikipedia)
Outflow at Libby Dam to be increased

Volume increase to aid migration and spawning conditions for endangered white sturgeon in the Kootenai River

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Tinder, an online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other’s profiles. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. man granted paternity test to see if Tinder match-up led to a ‘beautiful baby’

The plaintiff is seeking contact with the married woman’s infant who he believes is his child

Nurse Tami Arnold prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine. (Kareem Elgazzar/AP)
B.C. adults 30+ now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Health officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon

Richard Green writes poetry under the nom de plume Rick the Poet Warrior. Homeless, Green sometimes spends his summers in Revelstoke but winters in Victoria, travelling to Ontario to visit his sister whenever he can. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke nomad pens poetry, offers insight into homelessness

Rick the Poet Warrior’s books can be found online as well as at the Revelstoke library

Most Read