Terry Fox Run brings out the best in our communities: Todd Wong attends Terry Fox Run in Richmond BC

Stories of Terry Fox and personal stories of cancer are shared by the Terry Fox Run site in Richmond BC.


The Terry Fox Run site in Richmond BC, is organized by John & Joan Young,   In this 2006 picture, Todd Wong(red cap) stands between Joan & John in middle.  Their son 3rd from right.  Deb Martin is far right.

The Terry Fox Run is the world's largest single day fundraiser for cancer research.  All throughout, Metro Vancouver. all of BC, and all across Canada, Terry Fox Runs took place communities large and small.  And also around the world.

The Richmond BC run site is one of my favorites.  It is organized by my friends John and Joan Young. Since 1993, I have been a Terry's team cancer survivor guest speaker in Burnaby, Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, North Delta, Richmond, Kelowna, Beijing, and many elementary schools.

Meeting different people, who all have a connection to Terry Fox or a cancer story, is one of the best things I enjoy at a Terry Fox Run.  This year at the Richmond run, I met somebody who personally knew Terry, a woman whose sister is dying from cancer, and a young boy who heard me speak on Friday at Chief Maquinna School in Vancouver.

This year, the guest speaker at the Richmond run was Glyn Davies, a Richmond school teacher, who personally knew Terry as a teenager.  Glyn shared his personal story of shooting baskets with Terry at Simon Fraser University, working out in the weight room, and running together.  Glyn's father is Lorne Davies, who was athletic director during Terry's time at SFU, who also became a personal friend of Terry and his family.  Glenn emphasized Terry's character of always trying to do his best, as well as his dedication to task.

During the opening ceremonies, John Young also introduced the mayor of Richmond, Malcolm Brodie, and acknowledge the many volunteers such as the cheerleaders, and bagpiper Noel Chalmers.  John acknowledged some of the special donors who had collected $500+ and $600+ such as Olea who was also responsible for putting up all the Terry Fox Run posters around the village of Steveston.

After the start of the run, all the runners took off, led by children on their bicycles.  I walked over to say hello to Glyn Davies, whom I had first met two years ago, when I had been guest speaker for the Richmond Run, and he had been one of the organizers.  Glyn soon introduced me to his daughter Crystal who has followed his footsteps by becoming a school teacher.  He proudly stated it is Crystal's first year as a kindergarten teacher.  I shared with her that I had helped her grandfather Lorne Davies start up SFU's first Terry Fox Day in 1994, when we also created a Terry Fox trophy case.  I also asked Glyn after his father and said that I had last seen Lorne Davies at the coin unveiling for the Terry Fox Coin at Simon Fraser University, and had congratulated Lorne for having recently received the Order of BC.

I told Crystal that on Friday, I had spoken at Chief Maquinna elementary school's Terry Fox Run, and I explained that many Terry's Team members will speak at Terry Fox Runs, and sometimes at Elementary schools, serving as living examples that cancer research has helped make a difference.

“Let me show you something special, ” I said to her and  asked her to open her hand, into which I placed my SFU Terry Fox Gold Medal.

“Simon Fraser University created this Terry Fox Gold Medal to honour Terry.  He was the first recipient on June 6th, 1981.  Twenty-two days later, Terry died on June 28th.

The Terry Fox Gold Medal may be given annually to “someone who demonstrates courage in adversity and dedication to society.” It includes a $1000 prize and three semesters tuition.  One one side is the SFU Crest with the words “Simon Fraser University”
and “The Terry Fox Medal.”  On the other side, the words “For Courage”
accompany a thoughtful engraving of Terry with his chin resting on his
fist.

I have been a Terry's Team member since 1993, when Terry's younger brother Darrell phoned me up after hearing me speak on the radio.  At the time I was being interviewed by Rafe Mair, for just having been awarded the Simon Fraser University Terry Fox Gold Medal.

“Darrell turn on the radio, somebody's talking about Terry!” Darrell's wife phoned him at work.  He was then director of the BC/Yukon Terry Fox regional office.  That evening, Darrell phoned me at home, and we talked about Terry Fox, the SFU Terry Fox medal.  Darrell also invited me down to the office to meet him, and we hit it off, also beginning a friendship with his eldest brother Fred Fox.

Continuing my way on the Richmond run, everybody ran or walked along the West Dike.  I met a woman who was walking, and we started chatting.  She said her sister is now on her last legs, after having been diagnosed with cancer.  We talked about how cancer also affects not only the victim, but also the family and friends around them.  It's important that the person with cancer, also have a good social support team.  I shared with her some of the things that my family went through, when I had my cancer.

After finishing the run course, (okay I only went up to the 2km mark then turned around), I chatted with Richmond Councillor Sue Halsey-Brandt.  We had met 2 years previously at the 2006 run.  We talked about running, and also about the Vancouver civic strike and how Richmond was able to resolve the contract negotiations by not using the GVRD Labour Relations Board for negotiations.  She said made much more sense to negotiate directly with the Library, instead going through a third party.

“Hey… You were at Maquinna!” I heard a young voice suddenly say to me.  It was Brandon, a young student from Chief Maquinna school in Vancouver.  Brandon recognized me from the talk I did at Chief Maquinna school on Friday, for their school run. He and his mother were attending the Richmond run site, as their Church organization, Tapestry Church, had decided that the entire congregation should attend the Terry Fox Run, instead of having a regular Church service.  Wow!  I later talked with the Assistant minister, and met with some of their youth group, and suggested they start up a dragon boat team. hee hee…


Picture from 2006 Richmond Terry Fox Run.  bagpiper Noel Chalmers leads the head party with Sue Halsey-Brandt and Todd Wong. – photo D. Martin

DONATE TO THE TERRY FOX RUN

Please support the Terry Fox Run by participating yourself, or making an on-line donation
go to www.terryfoxrun.org/english/donations/donate/default.asp?s=1

One thought on “Terry Fox Run brings out the best in our communities: Todd Wong attends Terry Fox Run in Richmond BC

  1. Anonymous

    Hey Todd, Thanks a lot for publishing about the Terry Fox Run! It's an important cause and the more attention it gets the better. Anyways, I wanted to point you towards http://www.thankyourdonor.ca It's a non-profit social media website that I'm working on behalf of that allows recipients of blood donations to share their stories about how blood/blood products have saved or prolonged their or a family members life. So far we have 42 shared stories but we are looking to reach 100. If you know of anybody that would be willing to share their story it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again, for your article.

    Reply

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