Terry Fox on Sounds Like Canada: stories from nurse Judith Ray
I listened with great interest to CBC Radio's Sounds Like Canada
on 690 AM this morning, as guest host Kathryn Gretsinger talked with
Judith Ray, who was then head nurse of the pedriatric ward at Royal
Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. Before she had even met
Terry, she made decisions that would influence his treatment and
recovery. She ensured that at age 18, he would stay in the
pediatric ward with children and teens aged 5 to 18, knowing that a
room full of younger children would act as a great distraction to
somebody facing the loss of a leg, especially somebody devoted to
Even though the doctors were very sure that Terry had bone cancer and
that his leg needed to be amputated, they were not going to tell him
right away until all the tests were done. Judith recounts how she
emphasized that the whole family be in attendance when the doctor
shared the news, that Terry's leg would be amputated, that he would
have chemotherapy, that he would lose his leg. This is a great
shock to many people, as I can personally attest to… being told that
you have cancer. Judith says that Terry's younger siblings
Darrell and Judith asked lots of questions and really helped lessen the
shock and gravity of the moment.
Judith shared great insight to Terry's character. At the time of
his amputation in March 1977, Terry was a first year student at Simon
Fraser University studying kinesiology. That first weekend she
told him on a Friday that the amputation operation would take place on
a Monday, and she reccommended he take the time to visit the places he
could and enjoy the use of his two legs. Where did he go?
SFU – Terry loved Simon Fraser University, and the university has now
instituted Terry Fox Day, and has on display both a trophy case
dedicated to Terry and a bronze statue.
This interview with Judith Ray can be heard again tonight.
Night Time Review can be heard Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 8:00 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC Radio One.
Night Time Review – Friday, April 8
Most Canadians first met Terry Fox in 1980. He was a determined,
21-year-old, one-legged runner who launched a Marathon of Hope — a
plan to run across Canada to raise money for cancer. Judith Ray
first met Terry when the then-18-year-old Simon Fraser University
basketball player came to the hospital with a sore leg. She and
Terry developed a close bond during those early days of his cancer
diagnosis. A bond that Judith believes helped shape her life.
Guest host Kathryn Gretsinger talks to Judith Ray about the legacy of