BRITISH COLUMBIA

Terry Fox's Family To Hike Mt. Terry Fox

09/06/2015 07:28 EDT | Updated 09/05/2016 05:59 EDT
In September 1981 the family of Terry Fox were flown by helicopter to the top of a mountain near Valemount, in eastern B.C., to place a plaque and dedicate the peak to Fox, who had died from cancer just a few months prior.

Now, to mark the 35th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope, Terry Fox's family and others will be hiking up Mt. Terry Fox on Sunday, Sep. 6.

The Marathon of Hope was Terry's effort to raise money for cancer by running across Canada, despite already having lost a leg to the disease.

Terry made it 5,373 km from St. John's, Newfoundland, before he was forced to stop because the cancer had spread to his lungs.

He'll always be in our thoughts, in every step we take," said Fred Fox, older brother to Terry.

"In no way [does] what we are doing on Sunday compare to what Terry did for 143 days, running close to a marathon every day. But Terry will be the one I'll be thinking about, and what he sacrificed to do, 35 years ago."

Fred will be hiking along with two other siblings, two of his nieces, and more than 50 other members of the public, including Valemount's hiking club.

Pivotal race in Prince George

The Labour Day weekend also marks another anniversary in Terry Fox's life — the Labour Day classic run in Prince George.

In 1979 Fox competed in that race, then called the PG to Boston Marathon. He had started learning how to run with his artificial leg earlier that year, telling his family that he was training to compete in the Vancouver marathon in 1980.

He finished last in Prince George but that race gave him the confidence to start his cross-country run the following year.

"Finishing last wasn't something that Terry wasn't proud of," Fred said.

"He was proud of the fact that he crossed the finish line and finished what he started, and he realized that he could run that kind of mileage."

It was a pivotal moment, Fred added.

"He came home the next day and told our mother he'd kind of been telling a white lie, [he said] he wasn't training for the Vancouver Marathon, he wanted to run across the country to raise money for cancer research."

Now, as he and other members of the Fox family hike up Mount Terry Fox, Fred says they will take encouragement from Terry's life.

"Terry will be coaching me up that mountain all the way."

To hear the full interview click on the audio labelled: Mount Terry Fox hike marks 35 year anniversary of Canadian hero's cross-Canada tour