Terry Fox Run Day – I go to the Port Coquitlam “Hometown Run”
Very exciting day today… I went to the “hometown” Terry Fox Run
in Port Coquitlam at Hyde Park Recreation Centre. There were
thousands of people, it was hard to
count. I saw a sea of people when I arrived. Moyra Rodger,
producer of the CBC special, told me that the attendance was
10,000. Wow! I have spoken at Terry Fox Runs as small as 65
to 70, and as large as 1,500… but 10,000 people!
Special speakers were Rick Hansen, Premier Gordon Campbell, Prime
Minister Paul Martin, Betty Fox. The event was MC'ed by Greg
Moore's father. Lots of media cameras there. I took some
Premier Gordon Campbell takes off his right shoe and gives it to Betty Fox, when she complains she doesn't have a “Adidas Terry Fox running shoe” – a very funny moment… – photo Todd Wong
I was interviewed by CTV, they had called me yesterday asking if I
could contact them when I got there. They got my number from the
Terry Fox Run BC office, as I often speak to media in my role as a
Terry's Team member – cancer survivors serving as living examples that
cancer research has made a difference. I also saw a BCIT
broadcast media student Alex, who had done the commentating for the
Taiwanese Dragon Boat Races – he was there with a camera and a reporter
doing a story on the Terry Fox Run too! Will have to remember to
watch CTV tonight!
I showed the reporters my SFU Terry Fox Gold Medal, from 1993. I
often take it out to school visits, but this was the first time I had
taken it to a run. I explained that Terry recieved the inaugural
medal, and that it is given anually to somebody exemplifying the
qualities of “courage in adversity and dedication to society.”
Rick Hansen is a medal recipient too.
As I did the run, I would talk to some of the participants. After
talking with one woman and her daughter, she said she knew me and
explained out mutual friends. I remembered Brenda Seraphim, and
when I learned that her daughter was doing the run for the first time,
I reached into my pocket and gave 10 year old Nicola a Terry Fox $1
Along the way, I met more people who were running for their daughter
Teresa – a two time cancer survivor, and another woman Dolores, a
cancer survivor. Marylou's friend Angelo Lee, was featured in the
CBC tv special – Terry Fox: 25 Years of legacy. I saw a young
family with the 1993 Terry Fox Run shirt, and we were amazed it was the
first year either of us had done the run. I gave Terry Fox $1
coins to each of their small children.
A very special feature of the Port Coquitlam Terry Fox Run, is that it
goes past Terry Fox Secondary School, where the Terry Fox Ravens
cheerleading squad was stationed doing cheers for people running and
walking past. Many people detoured to the front of the school
where a stature of Terry is placed. A school teacher and her
students were taking pictures of people with the statue for
donations. I brought out my medal for the picture, and they
thanked me for making a special moment for them. I gave them each
a Terry Fox coin.
Todd Wong cancer survivor with Doug Alward and Terry Fleming – photo Deb Martin
Special moments for me were meeting Terry's basket ball coach Terry
Fleming and Doug Alward, Terry Fox's best friend who drove the van and
accompanied Terry on the Marathon of Hope. Doug and Terry were
pleased to see the SFU Terry Fox Medal, as I told them Terry recieved
the inaugural medal. Doug gave me a picture of himself and Terry
walking on the St. John's harbour beach in New Foundland where they
started the run. I also talked briefly with Betty and Rolly Fox,
Terry's parents. I was very happy to know that they loved the new
CTV movie “Terry” that was shown twice this week, starring Shawn Ashmore.
Doug and Terry Fleming really enjoyed it too – remarking that the actor
who played Doug Alward, did a very good job capturing Dougl's subtle
and quiet ways – even if the actor was almost twice as big as Doug is
in real life.
While my friends Brenda and Nicola were waiting in line to see Betty
Fox, run organizers came to Betty and told her that the run had
collected pledge amounts of 100,000 dollars. Amazing! She
was very happy.
Brenda and Nicola pose for a picture after meeting Betty Fox – photo Deb Martin
It's not too late to donate funds for the Terry Fox Run. You can donate online at www.terryfoxrun.org.
I am very happy to be a Terry's Team member. I know that Terry
Fox has become a big part of my life, not only because of speaking at
run sites and elementary schools, or helping to start Terry Fox Day at
SFU, but also by thinking about the values that Terry strived
for. Cancer changes lives, and it is how we deal with the change
that determines how we live our lives. I believe that Canadians are
better people because of what Terry reminds us about ourselves.
We all can make a difference.
more updates to come…
Here are links to some recent news stories about Terry Fox
Globe & Mail, Saturday Sep 17
about the unveiling of a new statue of Terry in Victoria
Globe & Mail, Sunday Sep 18
about the “hometown” run in Port Coquitlam