Terry Fox’s legacy lives on in Ladysmith

Terry Fox Run participants and volunteers continue to keep Terry Fox's legacy and his dream of finding a cure for cancer alive.

Thirty-two years ago, Terry Fox said, “I just wish people would realize that anything’s possible if you try; dreams are made possible if you try.”

He was running his Marathon of Hope across the country to raise money for cancer research, and more than three decades later, people all over the world who have been inspired by his story to continue to try to find a cure for cancer.

Fox  began his run April 12, 1980, in St. John’s, Nfld., and he ran close to 42 kilometers a day through the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario.

Fox, who was diagnosed with bone cancer and forced to have his right leg amputated 15 centimetres above the knee when he was 18, had to stop his Marathon of Hope outside of Thunder Bay, Ont., on Sept. 1 after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres because cancer had appeared in his lungs.

Terry Fox passed away June 28, 1981, at the age of 22.

While he was alive, he inspired an entire nation with his determination and his courage. Although he didn’t finish his Marathon of Hope, it became the start of something incredible that unites adults and children of every age, every size, every race and every religion.

The first Terry Fox Run was held Sept. 13, 1981, at more than 760 sites in Canada and around the world. The event attracted 300,000 participants and raised $3.5 million.

Terry Fox Runs are now held in communities small and large all around the world, and there’s even a Terry Fox National School Run Day, which this year is Sept. 27.

To date, more than $600 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Fox’s name through the annual Terry Fox Run, according to the Terry Fox Foundation.

Here in Ladysmith, we saw evidence of Fox’s legacy on Sunday when the Terry Fox Run attracted 104 participants and 30 volunteers. With donations still coming in, the local run raised $2,209 and counting.

Congratulations to everyone who participated and thank you to everyone who volunteered. You are all part of passing on Terry Fox’s story and keeping his legacy alive.

— The Chronicle