Terry Fox's father has died.
The Fox family announced 80-year-old Rolland Murray Fox's death on the Terry Fox Foundation's website Tuesday night.
"Rolland Murray Fox died late afternoon on March 8th while listening to a little Hank Williams," the statement said. "He fulfilled his promise to Terry, facing cancer with courage, grace and plenty of humour."
Son Terry became a household name at 21 in Canada and internationally in 1980, when he attempted to run across the country after losing a leg to cancer. His Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research and Terry made it across the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario, but later died from bone cancer in New Westminster, B.C. in 1981.
Rolland Fox unveils the plaque for Terry Fox on Canada's Walk of Fame, on Sept. 21, 2013. (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Rolland's lung cancer diagnosis was made public by the family in January of this year, but they assured Canadians Rolly was in "very good spirits" as he fought for his life.
Rolland and his wife Betty, who died in 2011, were both active in running the Terry Fox Foundation, which was created in honour of their son.
"We have witnessed once again the pain cancer causes but we know, oh how we know, that we are not alone," the family said about Rolland.
And they certainly are not alone. Since Terry's death, the foundation has organized hundreds of runs around the world in his honour. To date, they have raised $650 million for cancer research.
Read the Fox family's full statement on Rolland's death below:
Our Dad and Grandpa is no longer telling jokes. Rolland Murray Fox died late afternoon on March 8th while listening to a little Hank Williams. He fulfilled his promise to Terry facing cancer with courage, grace and plenty of humour. He thanked everyone, every time as they left the room after caring for him and each and every family member and friend after a visit. Our promise to Dad is to try our very best to focus on the many memories of laughter he gifted us the last few weeks and throughout our lives. His room was always overflowing with family, love, laughter, song and story - does life offer anything better? We have witnessed once again the pain cancer causes but we know, oh how we know, that we are not alone. We have seen first hand the opportunities to extend life because of our nation’s collective belief and investment in cancer research, yet have been forced to accept that they were not available to Dad/Grandpa. We now have your journey, together with Terry's, to offer us inspiration and hope from this day forward, forever more.
The Fox Family
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