They started their efforts in April and on Sept. 29, students at Terry Fox Elementary in Pierrefonds, Que., walked or ran more than 8,000 kilometres — more than the distance across Canada from east to west — in the name of the Canadian legendary marathoner.
The work they did certainly paid off. The school raised $30, 120 in funds for cancer research in honour of Terry Fox’s legacy.
“There’s a little bit of Terry Fox in all of them. Terry was all about never giving up and helping others and these students have really shown that today with their amazing fundraising,” Peter Sheremeta, director of the provincial Terry Fox Foundation, told Global News.
One of those who ran alongside the students is Eddie Nolan, a marathoner and cancer survivor.
“A kid like Terry Fox gave his life for others. For the betterment of others. That’s a hero,” Nolan told Global News.
Terry Fox ran more than halfway across the country in 1980, hoping to raise $1.00 from every Canadian for cancer research in what was called the Marathon of Hope. Fox was forced to abandon his effort after cancer spread to his lungs.
To date, the legacy of his efforts has raised more than $850 million.
“It’s made a big difference. We’ve really been able to build on cancer research and make a lot of developments,” Sheremeta said.
The principal of Terry Fox Elementary is thrilled to have the school named after the legend.
“We’re very fortunate to have the namesake of our school as such an incredible role model for our kids. Everything that Terry Fox has done is a teachable moment for our kids,” Douglas Stewart told Global News.
The fundraising efforts by students was a lesson in life that goes well beyond the classroom.