Nfld. & Labrador

Terry Fox costume helps boy raise $16K and counting for cancer research

Ethan Smallwood will be asking for donations for cancer research instead of candy when he goes door to door Thursday night dressed in costume as his hero Terry Fox.

Ethan Smallwood will be collecting donations, not candy, for Halloween

Ethan Smallwood is dressing up as his favourite superhero for Halloween — Terry Fox. (Bruce Tilley/CBC)

A seven-year-old's effort to follow in the footsteps of his hero Terry Fox this Halloween is already a success, having raised more than $16,000 for cancer research before knocking on a single door.

Ethan Smallwood is trick or treating for donations for the Terry Fox Foundation instead of candy on Thursday night, dressed up as Fox during his Marathon of Hope.

Smallwood and his family started an online fundraising campaign through the foundation prior to Halloween, when the donations started flowing in.

And on Wednesday, the boy from Clarke's Beach got a special pre-Halloween treat — a Skype call from Terry's brother Fred Fox in Vancouver.

"It's so amazing to know that a young guy like you is doing this and raising money for cancer research, and to be so close to where Terry started his Marathon of Hope," said Fox.

"[It's] amazing to see what you're doing," 

Terry would be so proud of what you're doing.- Fred Fox

Fox was emotional when Smallwood asked him about his memories of his brother.

"Terry would be so proud of what you're doing and Terry never, ever could have imagined that young kids like you who are inspired by him are keeping his dream alive," he said.

"All the support you're getting and what you're doing is really going to make a difference for people who have cancer."

Fred Fox spoke with Smallwood over Skype from Vancouver on Wednesday. (Bruce Tilley/CBC)

Smallwood said he was excited to talk to his hero's brother.

"That felt amazing, my mind was blown," he said,

"I'm hoping that we can find a cure for cancer one day."

Smallwood says he's not a big fan of Halloween candy, anyway, and started out wanting to raise $200 for the Terry Fox Foundation after learning about Terry in school.

"I got off the bus and ran home and told mom I wanted to be Terry Fox for Halloween and raise money for cancer research. Finish what Terry Fox [started]," said Smallwood.

Smallwood also learned to walk like Terry Fox for his costume. (Candice Smallwood/Submitted)

Finishing that goal will take more than a one-time Halloween trick. Smallwood said he's going to keep raising money for cancer research well past the end of October.

"I'm going to be doing this Terry Fox thing for awhile," he said. 

"I'm going to be like 8 when I finish it."

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Chris O'Neill Yates

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