‘Terry was silly funny – he had such playfulness about him. For example, if we were sitting on the couch watching TV he would reach over, grab my nose and just hold on, not let go. You couldn’t help but start to laugh,’ Julie Fox-Adler tells us.
‘My favourite time with Terry was when he was playing wheelchair basketball. I often drove into Vancouver with him and was ball girl during his practices. I loved that time we spent together; I would have been about 12 or 13 at the time. Terry was seven years older than me, so the fact that my older brother would let me come and hang out was awesome.
‘Another very memorable time was being in Toronto when Terry ran through. It was a surprise. We were up early, around 4am, to go and meet him on the road somewhere outside the city. What an experience! The Toronto Star flew us out and asked us not to let Terry know, even when we were on the side of the road amongst those who also rose early to see him. I still remember the feeling of excitement – the anticipation of seeing him. It had been approximately three months since he had left on his journey. It was so hard to just stand there as he ran towards us and, as he got closer, to hold back and not call him or reach out to him. It was almost unbearable. He was so full of concentration and determination that he ran right by us, until Mum called him – “Terrance Stanley Fox!” He went a couple more steps then stopped and turned around. There were tears and laughter from all of us. That day, July 10, is one of my most treasured memories.
‘The miracle of Terry was his selflessness. He thought of us as the power of one. He exemplified the strength of the human spirit. His story continues to inspire people of all ages, creeds, colours and cultures, to motivate them to give of themselves in order to serve the plight of others. Terry is a shining example to all, young and old alike – an example of determination, hard work, tenacity, perseverance, bravery, humility, courage and the importance of giving to others. Now, when I think of him, I am full of so much pride for having had the opportunity to share the first 16 years of my life with someone who has been embraced by millions of people around the world. His vision is a remarkably inspiring one and will stand the test of time and cultures. I am very proud to call him brother.’
Who was Terry Fox?
‘If you were better than him at the start,’ his father once said of his son’s sportsmanship, ‘he’d keep playing until he was better than you.’ That determination was harshly tested in 1977, when Fox – a Canadian teenage sports enthusiast – lost a leg to cancer. His ‘Marathon of Hope’ began in 1980; Fox aimed to run the width of his country, intending to raise a dollar for every one of Canada’s 24 million residents. Just 143 days into his journey (5,373 kilometres), he was forced to stop when the cancer was found to have metastasised to his lungs. He died nine months later.
What can you do?
The Terry Fox Run is an international, non-competitive event that has taken place every year since the runner’s death. Gradually growing in international scale, it now takes place in more than 50 locations. Held at the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar (CNA-Q) and now in its seventh year in Doha, it’s expected to draw a crowd of 1,300 people on March 18. The Four Seasons Doha and the Canadian community in Qatar collaborate with Al Amal Hospital – Cancer Hospital, providing refreshments, activities and selling T-shirts to raise funds.
To date, the Doha event has raised CAD$286,879 (over QR1 million). It has no minimum fundraising requirements, and participants are requested only to donate what they can – although many in Qatar gather sponsorship in advance of the event. Every riyal you raise goes towards funding cancer research.
The Terry Fox Run on March 18 starts at 4pm, with registration starting at 2pm at CNA-Q. To volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org