On Sept. 12, 2019 Alison Ince celebrates her 84th birthday. Ince is wearing a red T-shirt like many do at the annual Terry Fox run to celebrate their victory against cancer. Ince was Terry Fox’s nurse when he was a patient at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. (Terry Fox Foundation/Facebook)

‘If anybody could do it, he could,’ Terry Fox’s nurse to speak at B.C. run

Alison Ince remembers being ‘impressed’ with Terry Fox when they first met in 1977

Before participants of this year’s Terry Fox run leave the start line in Langley City they will get to hear words of inspiration from the nurse who looked after the Canadian hero while he was in hospital.

Alison Ince, 84, first met Terry Fox at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster in 1977, when he was admitted to have his right leg amputated after a malignant tumor was discovered.

“We were impressed with him,” she recalls. “He was going through all the things you would expect an 18-year-old to go through who suddenly been told he (has cancer) because that’s not something you can take easily.”

Ince said Fox was inspired to run after he read about an amputee runner in a magazine.

“He was a very determined young man and so when he really decided that he was going to do this and run across Canada, I think all of us felt if anybody could do it he could,” said Ince. “He had this real determination about him that I think was quite evident.”

READ MORE: Terry Fox run happening in three Langley communities

During Fox’s battle with cancer Ince said there wasn’t the type of awareness about the disease there is today.

“If you had lost a limb… you wore long pants and long-sleeve shirts… you never showed it,” she said. “If it were cancer it was called the big ‘c’ and you never talked about it because cancer was seen as being an immediate death sentence.”

Ince believes Fox changed all that.

“All of a sudden here is this young man in a pair of running shorts allowing everybody to see his prosthetic leg,” she said. “So he brought it right up in to the consciousness of people, certainly in this country where it had never been before.”

Cancer is no stranger to Ince or her family either. The Barbados native lost her youngest brother to cancer the same year she learned she was diagnosed with the disease.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and so I proudly wear one of the red shirts,” she said. “When you see red T-shirts at the Terry Fox runs, they are all cancer survivors.”

Five years later Ince’s husband lost his battle to cancer.

“One of the things I learned from [Terry] was that never again could I say to myself ‘well I’m only one person, what can I do about it’ because he was only one person and look what he did and… where he has taken us,” she said.

Ince, a Surrey resident, will be speaking at this year’s Terry Fox run at Langley City on Sunday, Sept. 15 before the 10 a.m. run.

The run in Langley City will be held at 20399 Douglas Crescent and registration will begin at 9 a.m.

Ince said you don’t need to be a runner to support the cause.

“Just the fact that you’re turning up you’re still supporting what he stood for,” she said.



joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Chilliwack hopes to re-start public consultation

A new survey asks residents if they’re ready to discuss projects not related to COVID-19

UPDATE: Missing girl in Chilliwack’s Promontory neighborhood found

A 13-year-old child was missing from early Monday morning to 4:30 in the afternoon

Missing Richmond man last seen in Chilliwack

Shawn Johnson last seen on June 30 on Main Street

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Eagle Landing

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

Abbotsford man wins $1 million in Lotto 6/49 draw

Kenneth Giffen wins prize after deciding to stop in Agassiz gas station after fishing trip

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

VIDEO: Former Abbotsford resident giving away $1,000

Langley native Alex Johnson creates elaborate treasure hunt to give away cash

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

UPDATE: Abbotsford shooting victim was alleged ‘crime boss,’ according to court documents

Jazzy Sran, 43, was believed to have been smuggling cocaine across the border

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Most Read