Fred Fox shared inspirational memories of his brother Terry Fox with Red Deer students

Don Campbell elementary holds assembly to kick off Terry Fox run this fall

Lessons in determination were passed on to Red Deer students on Friday, when Terry Fox’s brother Fred Fox and endurance kayaker Stéphane Pilon spoke at Don Campbell Elementary School.

Both men shared personal stories about how they were influenced by Terry Fox as a kick-off to the annual Terry Fox Runs, which will be held on Sunday, Sept. 16.

Fred Fox is 14 months older than his late brother, who he described as being “just an ordinary kid,” with a passion for sports. “He wasn’t the best, or the biggest athlete, but he realized he had to work harder than anybody — and he wasn’t afraid to fail.”

He became a national hero in 1980 when he attempted to run across Canada with one leg to raise money for cancer research. Terry Fox ran a marathon a day with a prosthetic right leg starting from Newfoundland. When he got to Thunder Bay, ON., he was hospitalized after his bone cancer returned.

He died from it at age 22 in June, 28 1981 after receiving a Companion to the Order of Canada for his achievements — which have inspired annual fundraising Terry Fox Runs in countries around the world.

Fred credited their mother, the late Betty Fox, for instilling in them the notion they had to finish whatever they started.

A combination of stubborn determination and unwillingness to quit served Terry well as a school athlete. Fred recalled that Terry “took it as a challenge” when a school basketball coach told him he was too small and unskilled to make the team. He never quit practicing, and became team captain before graduating high school in 1976.

While at Simon Fraser University, Terry was sidelined by a pain in his knee that he thought was a sports injury. He got the devastating cancer diagnosis and his right leg had to be amputated above the knee. He was just 18.

“The folks in rehab had never seen anyone as determined as Terry” — to not only learn to walk on the artificial leg, but to run with it, said Fred.

His empathy for other cancer patients led him to start his fundraising run across Canada, sparking the Marathon of Hope fundraiser that’s now run annually in 50 countries around the world.

Fred thanked the Red Deer students for their efforts to raise money while taking part in the local Terry Fox Runs, which have raised $223,000 over the years. And he encouraged the children to strive to reach their own dreams.

Pilon, a Red Deer businessman who completed the 715 km World’s Longest Paddle Race on the Yukon River between Whitehorse and Dawson City, was only three when Terry Fox died, but his story has inspired him all of his life.

The 2017 river race, in which Pilon participated with the names of people with cancer written on his kayak, required an exhausting three-day paddle, but Pilon did it in memory of Terry Fox, raising $7,000 for cancer research.

He also told the students anything is possible with enough determination.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Fred Fox speaking at Red Deer’s Don Campbell Elementary School. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Stephane Pilon, a Red Deer businessman who joined the World’s Longest Paddle Race in 2017. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Kayaker Stephane Pilon, speaking at Red Deer’s Don Campbell Elementary School. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Just Posted

Teckla Anderson’s legacy lives on in Stettler

150 youth from central Alberta participate in basketball camp

Points West celebrates five years

Helps seniors age in place

Kitchen table talk: Where change starts

Ask yourself what values you’d like others to come away with

Storm rips through Stettler

Hail pelts region

Angry giant baby Trump balloon makes him feel ‘unwelcome’ in London

Trump told The Sun newspaper that he felt unwelcome in London because of protests, including a giant balloon that was being flown over Parliament on Friday.

Critics claim Trump “defended a tyrant”

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

B.C. reporter calls out immigration photo on social media as fake news

A Vancouver reporter is calling out a British politician for spreading fake news

Hundreds of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

Out of 1,773 glaciers, 1,353 shrank significantly between 2000 and 2016

Indigenous housing providers worried Liberal proposals could put families on the streets

Indigenous housing providers raise alarms about future of federal funding deals

Concerned about hospice/palliative care misconceptions: Reader

Hospice/palliative care is an approach to care, not defined by a place

Lacombe Corn Maze celebrates CFR 45

Kraay Family Farm opens July 20th

Most Read

Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.