The Next Chapter

Darrell Fox reflects on the dedication and perseverance that his brother Terry Fox embodied

In this 2008 interview, Darrell Fox talks to Shelagh Rogers about his brother's determination and resolve. His 2020 book Forever Terry commemorates the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope.
Forever Terry: A Legacy in Letters is a book commemorating Terry Fox, edited by his younger brother, Darrell Fox. Darrell (right) is pictured with his brother during Terry's Marathon of Hope. (Viking, Submitted by Darrell Fox)

The 2020 book Forever Terry: A Legacy in Letters commemorates the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope.

Edited by Terry Fox's younger brother Darrell Fox, Forever Terry features 40 letters by 40 prominent Canadians reflecting on Terry Fox's life and legacy as an athlete, humanitarian and cancer research activist.

In this 2008 interview, Darrell Fox spoke with Shelagh Rogers about his brother's determination and resolve to run during his mentally and physically gruelling Marathon of Hope.

A powerful memory

"I've been asked, 'What was my most powerful memory?' That memory is seeing Terry cowered in his sleeping bag after we woke up at 4:30 in the morning. Terry had finished running the night before, and he would hide in that sleeping bag, almost trying to disappear, trying to avoid what was going to happen that day. 

Terry had finished running the night before, and he would hide in that sleeping bag, almost trying to disappear, trying to avoid what was going to happen that day.

"Doug Alward, Terry's best friend, would be driving the vehicle, so I'd be beside him in the passenger seat. Even though there was absolute silence in the complete darkness, you could just cut the tension.

"You realized the stress that Terry was going through. He knew that another day lay ahead for him and that he was going to have to run another marathon of 42 kilometres. Even after we reached that point where Terry had to start his run, we almost had to push him out the door."

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox shown in this undated photo, had his dream of running across the country cut short near Thunder Bay, Ont., when he learned that cancer had spread to his lungs. He ran the final leg of his Marathon on Hope on Sept. 1, 1980. (Canadian Press)

Terry's resolve

"There was that feeling of guilt for me and I'm sure for Doug as well, knowing that we were warm and being protected inside that van and Terry was out there having to go through it again. 

As much as I longed at five o'clock to get some more rest, I just couldn't do that based on what Terry was doing outside.

"It's a feeling and guilt that I've had for 28 years. I never went back to sleep.

"As much as I longed at five o'clock to get some more rest, I just couldn't do that based on what Terry was doing outside." 

It's been 40 year since the end of Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope... and now a beautifully illustrated book for younger readers tells that story that ended all too early but left a legacy that has lived for decades. Tony Doucette speaks with author 6:03

Darrell Fox's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now