I was ten years old in 1980 when I first saw Terry Fox. Our family was one that paid attention to the national news. I grew up in a time when you could count the number of television networks on one hand, and the newspaper I read was made of paper, the only option. As soon as I heard Terry’s story, on April 12th, 1980, I was inspired, and I was added to what would become a long list of his supporters, admirers, and those who called him their hero. Every morning and evening, I was filled with that hope that Terry would have a good run each day, that more and more Canadians would learn his story, and lots of funds would be raised to make his dream, a world without cancer, come true. Terry is my hero still today. In tough times, I sometimes imagine the sound of his steps, that sound we can all identify if we hear it with our eyes closed, and I remind myself of how tenacious he was, how determined, how stubborn, how tough. Imagining that sound always makes me think I can get through anything. Now, almost four decades later, I am a mother, a wife, a teacher, a daughter, a friend.
Like many Canadians, I’ve lost way too many people to cancer, including my best friend. I work hard to teach those young Canadians who pass through classrooms in front of me Terry’s story. Each year, I wipe tears from my eyes as we watch footage in school of the 143 days Terry was on the road. I teach our sons to keep Terry in their hearts. I feel privileged to be a volunteer with the Terry Fox Foundation. Every story I read, see, and hear shows what an impact Terry has had on Canada and on the world. Let’s all keep sharing our stories so we can remember this remarkable Canadian, and so that someday we can together, always guided by his spirit, achieve Terry’s dream: A world without cancer.