I was 10 when Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope in 1980. I remember watching news reports about this young guy, with an artificial leg, trying to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. I remember when he stopped his run in September of that year because the cancer had returned, this time in his lungs. I remember my mom, whose brother died of cancer when he was only seven, pledging money to the telethon that took place not long after in an effort to reach Terry’s goal of raising a $1 for every Canadian, and crying along with her as we watched his televised funeral.
The next year, I along with my best friend, ran the first Terry Fox Run in our area. In the year’s since, I have participated in the run off and on, but realized just how important Terry Fox’s legacy was when my daughter took part in her first school run last year. One day last September, Charlotte told me her class had watched a movie about Terry. “He was a hero,” she proclaimed when I read the note saying the kids were collecting pledges for the Terry Fox Run (her JK class ran the perimeter of the schoolyard). I told her he was indeed a hero, for his courage, his inspiration and for showing that just one person can make a difference.
This year The National School Run Day is scheduled for September 25. If you want to teach your child more about Terry Fox, go here, or read Terry Fox: A Story of Hope by Maxine Trottier, an authorized biography specifically for young readers, together.
Robin, CF senior editor