Current Chemainus Secondary School students weren’t even born until more than 20 years after Terry Fox’s historic Marathon of Hope, but have learned about his legacy and embraced what it means in dealing with situations pertaining to cancer in their own lives.
Fox captivated the world in 1980 with his courage in the wake of extreme pain and sacrifice to attempt a run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He made it from the east coast to Thunder Bay, Ont. but each generation is utilizing his story as motivation to do anything they can to help continue his dream to find a cure for cancer.
Those efforts have proved fruitful in helping many people survive, but various forms of cancer still take countless lives every year.
Students at Chemainus Secondary born between 2001 and 2005 have taken Fox’s message to heart.
“He was also affected by kids who were younger than him affected by the same thing,” said Miriam Holmes,” who spoke at an assembly of students Thursday.
“Imagine doing a milk run 16 times a day for 142 days.”
The school’s milk runs seem minuscule in comparison.
Holmes said everyone had a reason for doing Terry Fox Runs in their community.
“Every single one of you has either been or will be affected by cancer in some way,” she said.
Cheyenne Oud was just eight years old in 2010 when her mom was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. She was diagnosed a third time in 2014 and “this time I was old enough to realize how truly bad it is,” said Oud.
Fortunately, she’s now been cancer-free for three years.
Holmes was running for Aunt Jen who died of cancer in 2012 and also her Grade 4 teacher at Chemainus Elementary, Mrs. Williams.
Even the staff at Chemainus Secondary was rather young when Fox burst onto the scene and captured the imagination of the nation.
“Every night we’d watch how far Terry Fox got across Canada,” recalled vice principal Jennie Hittinger. “I remember what an impact it was when he had to stop that process.”
Students and staff then embarked on their annual Terry Fox Run around the community with gusto.