PEI

Stories of Terry Fox 'never get old,' says his brother

Fred Fox is on P.E.I. to help celebrate the Terry Fox Run at Colonel Gray High School Friday.

School has been fundraising all week

Fred Fox speaks to students at Colonel Gray High School about his brother Terry's legacy and dream for the future. (John Robertson/CBC)

When Terry Fox was on his Marathon of Hope his older brother Fred never imagined how that would shape his life. Fred is on the road now for weeks in the spring and in the fall promoting the memorial runs — and he's on P.E.I. to help celebrate the Terry Fox Run at Colonel Gray High School Friday.

"Our mom was thrust out there in the public eye soon after Terry passed away," Fred said.

"Canadians wanted to continue what Terry started and continue his dream. Canada responded in such a huge way."

Fred Fox spoke to students at Colonel Gray High School during one of their Terry Fox events. (John Robertson/CBC)

Betty Fox died in 2011, and that work has since been carried on by Fred and his brother and sister. Terry's nieces and nephews, who never met him, have also been getting involved in recent years.

Marathon of Hope memories

Colonel Gray High School guidance counsellor Gordie Cox, one of the main organizers of the run at the school, has a special connection to the Marathon of Hope.

Colonel Gray High School has been the top fundraising school in P.E.I. and New Brunswick for the past nine years said counsellor Gordie Cox. (John Robertson/CBC)

When the run came to the Island in April, 1980, Cox's father was the executive director of the P.E.I. Cancer Society, and helped host Terry during the run.

Being on the West Coast or even in the Prairies you don't get those stories.— Fred Fox

"My father would come home and tell me stories about huge breakfasts that Terry ate and just general things that went on," he said.

His father also visited Terry in his hospital room in B.C. after he had to end his run.

Fred Fox says his brother Terry enjoyed passing through Prince Edward Island because it was a province that could be run though in a very short time. (John Robertson/CBC)

Fred said one of the things he loves about visiting the Maritimes is hearing these stories.

"I visit people who might have been six years old, and mom and dad or grandparents dragged them out to the side of the highway to watch Terry run by," he said.

"Those stories never get old and I love them. Being on the West Coast or even in the Prairies you don't get those stories because Terry never made it that far, but it's awesome to hear them."

Colonel Gray High School students formed a heart and the initials T and F for Terry Fox. (John Robertson/CBC)

Before the Terry Fox Run itself, students at Colonel Gray gathered in a field behind the school — where they formed a heart and the letters T and F for Terry Fox. 

"Over the years I have heard so much about him being a hero,"said Julia Bovaird, one of the members of the school's Terry Fox Club.

"Today he was portrayed as a normal person," she said.

Grade 12 students Daria Hughes and Julia Bovaird were happy to be a part of organizing this year's Terry Fox events at Colonel Gray High School. (John Robertson/CBC)

For the students, it was good to hear about Terry Fox from someone so close to him.

"I think that just never giving up is such an inspiring thing that both Fred and Terry would always remind us of," said Grade 12 student Daria Hughes, another Terry Fox Club member.

Students from Colonel Gray High School have taken part in the Terry Fox run every year since it began in 1981. (John Robertson/CBC)

There have been fundraising events at Colonel Gray High School all week, and the run itself was on Friday.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Island Morning and John Robertson

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