It’s been 28 years since Terry Fox began the Marathon of Hope. Since then, over $400 million has been raised for Cancer research. On Sept. 14th, thousands across Canada will participate in the annual Terry Fox run. It’s a day that celebrates Terry’s legacy and hopefully brings us a step closer to his dream of curing cancer. In an interview with Terry’s sister, Judith Fox-Alder, I learned much about Terry Fox Runs Internationally, and the recent find, the van Terry and Darrel Fox used during the Marathon of Hope.
Fox-Alder recently took over the position of International Director of the Terry Fox runs. She takes over from Breeda McLeew, who played an important role over the past 27 years in educating, organizing, and supporting Terry Fox’s runs worldwide. Over the years, these runs have been organized and supported by Canadian Embassies/Consulates, Canadian Forces Bases, Anti-Cancer Councils and Societies, and other dedicated organizations and individuals. In 2007, 2.6 million participants raised 2.3 million dollars in 29 countries. Some of the largest participating countries include Cuba, UAE, Vietnam, China, Italy, Malaysia, and Croatia, to name a few. In addition to the runs, many locations “shave their head for Terry” to raise funds.
Fox-Adler spoke about the tremendous support from Cuba. They had over 2 million participants, which is remarkable for a country with just over 11 million people. There’s a terrific article written by Leslie Scrivener, feature writer from The Star and the author of “Terry Fox His Story.” In this article, you can read more about how the Cubans embraced the Terry Fox story.
This year’s big story was the finding of the Ford Econoline van used for the Marathon of Hope. Brother Darrel Fox had asked famous Canadian author Douglas Coupland to keep an eye out for the van after writing a tribute book to Terry in 2005. For the last 8-9 years, the Heavy Metal band “Removal” has used the van, which has toured around North America. Pettie Fong writes a piece in the Star about how the vehicle was found.
After Ford Motor Co. had restored the van, which took over 1,000 hours, Darrel Fox is leading a trip that will mirror Terry’s journey, calling it the “Tour of Hope.” The journey started on May 25th in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and will visit 50 communities across Canada and has returned to B.C. for the Sept. 14th run. For Fox-Adler, the van brings back many memories as she took part in the tour traveling from Montreal to Markham, Ontario. Check out their blog.
The Terry Fox story is a great reminder of hope, faith, and persistence as represented thru a true Canadian hero that can be shared with the world.
Click here for pledges to the Terry Fox run.