Mak­ing a dif­fer­ence at All Hal­lows

Fred Fox thanks stu­dents for help­ing con­tinue his late brother’s dream

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRY ROBERTS

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.

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