I have been a teacher for more than 30 years in various elementary schools in four provinces. Every year my class and I research, discuss and write about Terry Fox and why he is such an exceptional Canadian hero. I tell my class about meeting Betty Fox in 1986 and how his family and countless others like my students and me have kept the memory of Terry and his legacy of hope for cancer patients and survivors alive. I'm not a runner but every year I've walked with my students, staff and community members in remembrance of Terry's message of hope.
– Janet Bishop, 57, Cranbrook, B.C.
Participation in the run that Terry started means everything to me! His story is a very significant thread that makes up the fabric of our country. I am moved by thoughts of what that young man must have endured for 143 days over that spring and summer of 1980. Terry Fox helps to put some perspective on what I feel are my life's hurdles.
– Bill Coon, 51, Huntsville, Ont.
It's feeling a sense of pride and honour to help continue this amazing legacy and tradition that Terry began so many years ago. To me, he's the purest form of Canadian selflessness and sacrifice for the greater good. One of the true and only Canadian icons.
– Matthew Higgerty, 24, Ottawa/Toronto
I was 15, living in St. John's, when I went down to the waterfront and watched Terry Fox dip his leg into the Atlantic ocean and start his run.We had no idea who he was, but in the weeks to follow we were riveted to the TV, watching his progress and waiting for glimpses of him! He is a true Canadian hero. Last summer I lost my Mom to cancer, and in the fall did my first Terry Fox Run (walking).It felt incredible to raise money for this, and to help continue the Marathon of Hope.
– Jenny Melindy, 46, Embrun, Ont.
I have participated in the Terry Fox Run, since I was 15 or 16 years old. My participation started after we lost our grandfather to prostate cancer. Ever since, I haven't missed a year. My family in each generation has been affected by cancer and lost loved ones since the death of my grandfather, and I want to see an end to it. Terry's courage and determination encourages me to continue in my personal goals in triathlons and raising money yearly for Terry. Great strides have been made and I want to continue to contribute to that every way I can.
– Lori Poirier, 29, Welland, Ont.
My Mom died from pancreatic cancer at age 52, 11 years ago. She was the most caring, loving person I knew.
She never got to meet my children. We go every year to honour her memory.
It makes me angry that the bigger events get so much media hype and coverage and in cities such as Calgary the turnout can be a couple of hundred. The Terry Fox Foundation helps everyone with every cancer. Not just a specific kind. Terry is our Hero! – Erin O'Brien, 37, Calgary
I'm 29 and the run will be my third cancer free.
– John Parker, 29, St. John's
Every time I participate in the Terry Fox run, I think of the friends and family I have lost, and are still fighting this disease. There have been times where the run gave me a wonderful sense of community, of hope. I especially remember the time my cousin drove in from Montreal to walk with me. We then went for lunch with my aunt, having a wonderful afternoon together. There was a time that a co-worker organized a run in our small town. The local store had made donations and we had a great turnout for such a good cause. There have been times that the run was more difficult than others, too. My first run ... days after 9/11. That time helped me remember that even in the darkest days of evil, the light of the goodness and hope of the majority will prevail. There was a year that I had an injured foot and could only walk the 1 km course instead of running the full course. The importance of participation, pushing through pain, of trying, not giving up, and even small efforts count. Last year, that one was the toughest. My mother-in-law lost her battle to cancer just nine days before. I had to push through a lot of tears during that run. This year I am working on a positive note. I had received a letter from Rolly Fox [Terry's Father]; my annual fund-raising BBQ was a great success; and I made new friends.
– Kathy Mercier, Compton, Que.
This is my third Terry Fox Run. For me, doing the run not only honours Terry and Betty Fox, but I'm also honouring loved ones that I've lost to cancer. It also shows the power of community and volunteering. Terry's legacy is such an inspiration to so many. He inspires me every day and for that I'm truly grateful.
– Kelly Teramoto, Banff, 39, Alta.
Even if I hadn't lost my dad and grandmothers to cancer. Even if since then, I hadn't watched numerous friends lose their loved ones to cancer. I would still run in the Terry Fox Run every year to honour the memory of one of the greatest Canadians to ever live.
– Keetha Summers, 24, Regina
Participating in the Terry Fox Run means we are able to follow in the footsteps of a true Canadian hero. Terry was an average guy who never gave up on his dream, and it's that example that motivates and compels us to finish what he started. There are hundreds of Terry Fox Runs across the world and each one is organized entirely by volunteers, average people who continue to be inspired by Terry Fox even after 32 years. Terry has become part of our family history as we participate annually at our local run. We share in our hometown pride when the results are posted and can safely say that Terry Fox lives here in Dresden, Ont.
– Cindy Brewer, 54, Dresden, Ont.