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Betty Fox succumbs to illness

Betty Fox, mother of Canadian hero Terry Fox and a dedicated cancer crusader since his death in 1981, is reported to be seriously ill. - Tri-City News file photo
Betty Fox, mother of Canadian hero Terry Fox and a dedicated cancer crusader since his death in 1981, is reported to be seriously ill.
— image credit: Tri-City News file photo

Betty Fox, mother of the late Terry Fox, passed away Friday morning.

The Fox family released a statement confirming her death on the Terry Fox Foundation website.

"It is with considerable sadness that we share that our wife, mother and grandmother died at 8:25 a.m. (PT) this morning," the statement read.

"Betty ... passed away peacefully surrounded by love. Betty was comfortable the last few weeks and months of her life, was always full of wit and rarely alone. Betty is now with Terry and joins other dear family members that predeceased her.

"We have greatly appreciated the privacy granted to our family since Betty's illness was shared and are hoping it continues at this difficult time."

News that Betty was seriously ill first came to light two weeks ago when media reports speculated she had cancer and was living in Chilliwack Hospice. In a statement at the time, the family said reports of cancer were incorrect, but that she was seriously ill.

For more than 30 years Betty has been the face of the Terry Fox Foundation, encouraging, inspiring, pushing the world to continue her son's dream of eradicating cancer. She quit her job, traveled the world, listened to stories, shed tears, shaved her head, and was selected to be a flag bearer among other Canadian celebrities for the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics – all in the name of her son.

It was what he would have wanted.

"I knew what Terry started was far more important than me loving the work I do, far more important," she told The Progress last September for the 30th anniversary of the Terry Fox Run. "I don't ever want anyone to think that this has changed my life. What I have done has been for my son and because I have believed in his cause. I believe there will be a cure for cancer."

To date, over $550 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research through the annual Terry Fox Run.

"I know Terry would be proud, he would be very, very proud," she told The Progress in a past interview.

Cards and messages can be sent to the Terry Fox Foundation at Suite 303, 46167 Yale Road, Chilliwack, BC, V2P 2P2 or emailed to bettyfoxmessages@gmail.com or posted at www.terryfox.org.

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