Terry’s Marathon of Hope an inspiration for many

Back Row Left to Right: Ken Crawford, Betty Fox, Roly Fox, Janice Beechey Middle Row Left to Right: Natalie (Beechey) Rudkin, Nicole Beechey Front Row: Rachel (Beechey) Brosseau Photo: Submitted

Lt Rachel Brosseau, 4 Wing Public Affairs Officer

The Terry Fox Run has been a large part of my life since I was four years old. In 1994 my mom’s best friend decided to organize a Terry Fox Run in Port Perry, Ontario and recruited the help from her various friends—my mom and uncle being two of those people. My family was always there to participate in the runs, and as I grew up I started to volunteer and help support the day of the run activities. The photo here is from 1995 when Terry’s parents, Betty and Roly Fox, came to visit Port Perry and my family was fortunate to meet them. The picture includes myself, my two sisters, mom, and uncle. As I have moved around the country and away from Port Perry I have still participated in local Terry Fox Run’s and continue to support Port Perry with their social media efforts. When I arrived here in Cold Lake a month ago, I was excited to learn how supportive 4 Wing is of the Terry Fox Run.

Cancer is something that has likely affected all of us in one way or another. Something that the Port Perry run always had were dedication boards. Participants write on the board who they are dedicating their run to. Every year I dedicate my run to my grandma who I lost to cancer when I was only five years old. Terry saw the impacts of cancer on not only himself but also in the pain and suffering that patients, some much younger than him, were experiencing.

The night before his surgery Terry had a dream of running across Canada. That dream would become the inspiration for the Marathon of Hope, which began 40 years ago on April 12, 1980. When asked about the Marathon of Hope, Terry said, “I could not leave [the cancer ward] knowing these faces and feelings would still exist, even though I would be set free from mine. I was determined to take myself to the limit for this cause.” Terry started his run in St John’s Newfoundland and ran 143 days straight, completing a total of 5,373 km when he was forced to stop his run as the cancer had returned but this time in his lungs. Terry once said, “I’ve said to people before that I’m going to do my very best to make it, I’m not going to give up. But I might not make it… if I don’t, the Marathon of Hope better continue.”

This year, Terry’s Marathon of Hope will continue despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but it will just look a little different. Participants will complete their run on their own and not gather at run sites across the country like they have for the last 40 years. 4 Wing has created an online fundraising team and mapped out various run location options. I hope you will participate this year and continue to raise money for cancer research. More info can be found at http://couriernews.ca/2020/09/11/participate-in-this-years-terry-fox-run/ #tryliketerry