In 1980, Terry Fox and Vickie Key were both 22. She was grieving the loss of her grandmother and was unaware of his Marathon of Hope across Canada to raise money and awareness for cancer research until one day, by chance, she turned on the television.
“I saw this curly-haired man, the same age as me, running across Ontario,” Ms. Key recalls. “It lifted me up and inspired me at a time I was experiencing grief and immense sadness.”
Since then, her personal and professional lives have been inextricably linked with Mr. Fox and his cause.
“I was very close to my grandmother, and her death from lung cancer devastated me,” says Ms. Key. “When Terry announced he had to stop his run, that was also pretty devastating, especially because the metastatic tumour had gone to his lung, as it had for my grandma.”
Every gift can have an impact, and it’s just so important that we continue to honour Terry’s legacy and fund cancer research.— Vickie Key, Volunteer with the Terry Fox Foundation
Ms. Key joined in the first Terry Fox Run and has participated in the annual event in some way ever since. Over the past 40 years, she has also volunteered at dozens of Terry Fox-related events.
“I always carry my grandma’s picture and my Terry Fox loonie – and I have Terry Fox laces in my running shoes,” she says.
Her personal experience with cancer ultimately resulted in her working as a nurse in a hospice providing palliative care.
“I want to make a difference for families and hopefully provide for a more meaningful end-of-life, and a comfortable death, unlike what my grandmother went through,” she says. “So I come at cancer from a few different angles, and it’s important to me that I continue to, because the Terry Fox Research Institute has achieved incredible things. It’s just so important that we continue to fund research.”
To contribute to that research, Ms. Key has provided a legacy gift in her will to the Terry Fox Foundation. Leaving a gift in your will is an easy and powerful way to continue Terry Fox’s legacy with your own. Gifts of three, five or 10 per cent of what remains from your estate, after deducting gifts to family and loved ones, can allow you to take care of those important to you and support causes that are meaningful to you.
“Terry Fox’s family have never, ever wavered over 40 years. I’m just so honoured to leave some money in my estate planning that I know in my heart will be put to good use to make a difference for future generations,” she says.
The Terry Fox Foundation works to realize Terry Fox’s dream of finding a cure for cancer through funding critical research in Canada.
“You don’t have to be wealthy to leave a legacy gift,” she says. “Every gift can have an impact, and it’s just so important that we continue to honour Terry’s legacy and fund cancer research,” she says.
To join the Terry Fox Legacy Circle, visit terryfox.org/legacy
Advertising feature produced by Randall Anthony Communications. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.