Making a difference at All Hallows
Fred Fox thanks students for helping continue his late brother’s dream
Big brother visits
Terry Fox proved to his family at a very young age that he wasn’t a quitter.
His late mother, Betty, would often tell the story of how Terry, at age three or four, attempted to build a pyramid of blocks on the deep pile carpet of their home.
The unstable base meant the blocks would often fall over, but Terry persisted until he completed the pyramid, and lit up with pride following his accomplishment.
it was that never-give-up attitude that kept Terry’s spirits high during his battle with bone cancer in 1977. At age 18, Terry had much of his right leg amputated. And it was this same determination that kept him going during his crossCanada Marathon of Hope in 1980, which saw him run the equivalent of a marathon a day for 143 days, raising money for cancer research.
His unique running style, curly hair and freckles have been etched in the memories of Canadians of a certain vintage.
The marathon came to an abrupt halt in Thunder Day, Ontario after cancer returned to Terry’s lungs, and he passed away in June 1981.
But more than three decades later, Terry’s legacy is alive and well across Canada and around the world, where Terry Fox Runs are held each year in thousands of schools and communities.
At All Hallows Elementary in North River last week, students and staff learned first-hand about the ordinary young man who achieved something extraordinary because he believed in a dream of finding a cure for cancer.
Terry’s big brother, Fred Fox, thanked the school for its support of the Terry Fox Foundation, and shared some of his memories of growing up with a brother who was often told he wasn’t big enough, strong enough or smart enough.
Fred said Terry used such slights as motivation to do better, whether it was trying out for the varsity basketball team, overcoming the loss of his leg, or running across Canada.
“He was not afraid to fail. He was determined to do his very best,” Fred stated. “ He showed what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it.”
“He was not afraid to fail. He was determined to do his very best. He showed what you can accomplish
when you put your mind to it.”
In a message aimed directly at the hundreds of young students seated before him, Fred added: “ Terry truly believed it wasn’t important to be the smartest kid in class or the best basketball player. It was important to do the very best you could do and be the very best you can be.”
After losing his leg, Terry Fox decided to try and and make a difference in other people’s lives. The result was the Marathon of Hope, which has since raised millions for cancer research.
The students at All Hallows, one of 9,000 schools to stage a Terry Fox Day each year, raised some $7,000 last year.
The target this year is $10,000, with principal Kevin Giles promising to colour his hair green if the students are successful in reaching the goal by Oct. 31.
Fred Fox said his brother would be proud of those efforts.
“ Your efforts over the past several years have made a difference in other people’s lives,” he said.
Fred Fox ended his presentation by echoing the words of his late mother, who would often conclude her remarks with the following: “Always set goals and never give up on your dreams.”
Fred Fox, older brother of the late Terry Fox, addressed students at All Hallows Elementary in North River on Oct. 13.