Betty Fox: A Legacy Fulfilled

by J-Stacknik

Betty Fox (front left) was one of the Canadians who carried the Olympic Flag into BC Place at the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremonies.

Betty Fox, was a tireless fighter in keeping her son Terry’s legacy alive. In 1980 Terry Fox tried to run across Canada, after losing his right leg to cancer, to raise money and make people aware of the disease. He made it half way and eventually had to stop because his cancer came back. Terry died on June 28, 1981 at the age of 22. Standing by his side during his run with unwavering support was his mother Betty.

Betty died on June 17, 2011 but not without leaving a legacy of her own. After Terry died she realized that what he was doing was so important that it needed to continue. On September 13, 1981, a few months after Terry died, about 300,000 people took part in the first Terry Fox Run at more than 760 sites across Canada. It was very successful raising $3.5 million.

Since then the run has continued throughout Canada and at least 28 other countries, and Betty worked tirelessly to keep it alive. In 1988, along with her other son Darrell, she established the Terry Fox Foundation, which has raised $550 million for cancer research through the annual Terry Fox runs. As well six years later the Terry Fox Hall of Fame opened in Toronto to recognize Canadians who have bettered the lives of people living with physical disabilities. In 2007, the Terry Fox Research Institute opened in Vancouver.

In 2010, Betty helped carry in the Olympic flag during the opening ceremonies at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, she followed that up a couple of weeks later by lighting the flame for the Paralympics.

Because of Betty’s focus on keeping Terry’s dream alive over the past 30 years it’s a sure thing that her legacy, and in turn Terry’s, will continue after her death.

Betty Fox is survived by her husband Rolly, two sons, a daughter and several grandchildren.

Read more:

An Extraordinary Legacy |

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