Terry Fox’s younger brother Darrell remembers celebrating his 18th birthday while on the road of the Marathon of Hope in 1980 and now, at age 56, he’s still able to see the importance of that journey.
“It’s amazing to see that, here we are, 38 years removed from the Marathon of Hope, and the story still resonates and I know I’m biased but I think it always will,” said Darrell, who will be speaking at the annual Terry Fox Run in Kelowna Sept. 16.
“It’s a powerful story, we don’t need to add to it, to dramatize it, it’s incredibly powerful what one person can do.”
Terry was diagnosed with bone cancer at 18, and as a result, his right leg was amputated. After deciding to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research, he was forced to stop partway because cancer spread to his lungs. He died at 22.
It’s an important story to share with the younger generation, he said.
“It’s so cool to see the sincere interest from kids and children,” Darrell said. “What moved and inspired Terry was young children… he always felt they were much braver than he was.”
Darrell said cancer research has come a long way since 1980, but there’s still a journey ahead.
The feeling of pride he feels for Terry and what he accomplished has never faded, he said.
“I never want to do that and none of us family members wants to take this incredible legacy for granted,” he said. “Every day (I’m) proud to wake up and be a small part of this legacy.”
Terry Fox runs are held around the world, including Asia and Europe each year.
The Kelowna run is set for Sunday, Sept. 16 at the Mission Sportsfield, beside the H20 Adventure and Fitness Centre. Registration begins at 10 a.m. with the run at 11 a.m.
Lake Country’s Terry Fox Run is also returning after an eight years absence to Beasley Park.
Hosted by Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, the run takes place Sept. 16. Registration opens at 9 a.m. with the walk at 10 a.m. Walkers will head from the park north along the Okanagan Rail Trail.
Letnick said back in 2010, the district had 50 participants and $1,500 was raised. This year’s goal is to beat those numbers and Letnick said more than $1,500 has already been raised.
“There’s Terry Fox events all over Canada in much smaller events than Lake Country. If I recall correctly, one of the first ones I had participated is in Banff, which had a residential population at the time of 6,000 people. You don’t need a lot of people, what you need is a community that thinks Terry Fox did an amazing thing, and he was an inspirational hero to me and to Canadians,” Letnick said.
What he did for cancer research is exceptional but also I think as a role model for kids, now that I’m a grandfather, for my grandchildren and we should take every opportunity to emulate his decimation of service to others,” he said.
To find out more about Terry Fox events in your area, visit http://www.terryfox.org/.