Friday, November 21, 2014

Fred Fox on Terry Fox and the legacy November 19

Fred Fox joined me in studio for a conversation that you really want to listen to with your friends, family, children anyone who is feeling that they can't make a difference.

35 years ago I remember seeing Terry Fox run through Ajax Ontario.

The Marathon of Hope has made an enduring difference to cancer awareness and to motivating youth.

Here is the Nightline conversation with Fred Fox.

Here are our talking notes.

Fred Fox Member of the Terry Fox Foundation

Terry started his run in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980. Enthusiasm grew and the money collected along his route began to mount. He ran 42 kilometres (26 miles) a day through Canada's Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario.

However, on September 1st, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles), Terry was forced to stop running outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario because cancer had appeared in his lungs. Terry Fox passed away on June 28, 1981 at the age 22.


  • Independent─not associated with the Canadian Cancer Society or any other cancer fundraising National organization
  • 33 fulltime staff in 10 offices
  • Over 9,000 Terry Fox Runs each year─all volunteer-led and organized
  • No entry fee, No minimum pledge, Non-competitive
  • No Sponsorship


To date, The Terry Fox Foundation has raised over $650 million for cancer research worldwide. (* based on most recent 3-year average.)


The Terry Fox Foundation is one of the largest non-governmental funders of cancer research in the country,funding many different types of cancers; current multi-year studies include lung, ovarian, colorectal, pancreatic, oral, liver, oncolytic viruses and many more.
1,152 - the number of cancer research projects funded to date by The Foundation.
In 2013/14, TFF will invest an estimated $23.5 million in three key areas of cancer research.
  • Discovery research - fundamental science, cure-oriented biomedical: $14.2 million
  • Translational research - moving discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic more quickly to impact patients; “lab bench to bedside” approach: $8.2 million
  • Training future leaders in cancer research: $1.1 million

“Each and everyone of you can be just like Terry,” Fred Fox explains. “My parents taught us that once we start something we see it to the end. We try our very best.”

“Terry had to work hard to achieve some of the things he had, he had to work a little harder whether it was in school or playing sports, just that message that Terry was just like them and it just takes a little bit of determination and hard work and you an accomplish anything you want.”

“The intent was to teach kids about who Terry was and why his message of challenging and believing in yourself is so important. Truly, the message was that kids can make a change and that it only takes one person to make a difference. We are trying to teach our kids to think globally,” Kennedy says.

C.H. Norton principal Diane Johnstone says Fox’s message about perseverance was powerful. She says she was reminded just how much Terry Fox still remains a national hero.

“Fred's message (I think) is that he hoped that Terry's legacy would be about being hopeful, setting goals and persevering through challenges.   I would hope that our students feel hopeful and optimistic about their own lives, that they are able to set goals that help them realize their potential and finally that they are able to  "stick to it" when the road becomes a bit rocky.  

“Obviously, I hope the children also learned that as a school we can come together to help fight the war on cancer. I would guess that every child in our school, no matter how old or young has had their lives touched by a grandma, uncle, parent, sibling, a friend who has had cancer. Our fundraising efforts will go towards cancer research.

“When Fred came to speak at Norton, our staff, myself included, brought our own kids to school because we know how awesome this is – the story is so inspiring.”

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