Terry Fox’s brother is once again cycling hundreds of kilometres with others to raise money for cancer research.
The Ride of Hope was started by Chilliwack’s Darrell Fox, Terry’s younger brother, in 2015 in celebration of the 35th anniversary of Terry’s Marathon of Hope.
This year, he and his team of 24 riders – called the Vancouver/Fraser Valley Ride of Hope team – will be riding 360 kilometres from Port Coquitlam (the Foxes hometown) to Chilliwack on Saturday, July 9.
“One of Terry’s sayings was ‘Anything is possible if you try.’ I believe in that. I think limitations are self-imposed and we can do anything we set our mind to,” Darrell said. “I am looking forward to joining friends and fellow Terry Foxers as we ride from Terry’s hometown to our current home here in Chilliwack.”
New educational signs were installed this week at the Terry Fox Hometown Square in Port Coquitlam as a tribute to Terry’s 1980 Marathon of Hope. And it’s from that location that Darrell and his team will be starting their 360-kilometre Ride of Hope journey at 5:30 a.m. on July 9.
“Terry’s Marathon of Hope might have taken place more than 40 years ago, but it is still very much alive in many of our hearts, here in Port Coquitlam and elsewhere,” Port Coquitlam mayor Brad West said.
Developed in consultation with the Fox family, the new 60-inch-wide (152 centimetres) signs encourage passersby to “Follow Terry’s Journey” and trace his route through the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario as he made his way west toward his home in B.C.
The signs include quotes from Terry, images captured throughout the Marathon of Hope, and details about the stops he made along the way – starting on April 12, 1980 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. In his journal entry that first day, Terry wrote: “I had a police escort out of the city and many people followed me in cars. The Mayor ran a few steps with me. Along the way, everyone was honking and waving.”
A QR code on the signs takes visitors to more of Terry’s journal entries and audio file links on the Terry Fox Foundation website, along with additional photos and details about the Marathon of Hope. When Terry’s journey ended on Sept. 1, 1980 just east of Thunder Bay, Ontario, he had run 5,374 kilometres (3,339 miles) – the equivalent of about 128 marathons – over 143 days.
“We are equally proud and thankful with how the City of Port Coquitlam has recognized our brother and uncle with the Terry Fox Hometown Square, which features Terry’s Marathon of Hope route,” Darrell said on behalf of the Terry Fox family. “The related signage and linkage to terryfox.org offers visitors the opportunity to gain inspiration from Terry’s vision and values and to understand why he was driven to give everything he had to help others.”
The Vancouver/Fraser Valley Ride of Hope team will be arriving at Vedder Park between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., though they may be earlier as they will have an RCMP motorcycle escort this year.
The team has raised nearly $60,000 of their $100,000 goal.
Cyclists can join the Ride of Hope fundraiser by planning their own route on July 9 of any length and in any location, or by joining an existing ride. More information about ways to participate, raise funds or donate can be found at terryfox.org/rideofhope.
“The Marathon of Hope tribute at Terry Fox Hometown Square is a reminder of the sacrifice Terry made for all of us, and we created these signs to help people understand the significance of his journey and his legacy,” West said. “We hope it will help inspire a whole new generation of Canadians to follow in the footsteps of our hometown hero, both literally and figuratively.”