April 12th, 1980, Terry Fox dipped his right leg - his prosthetic leg - in the Atlantic Ocean near St. John's Newfoundland.  That launched Terry's Marathon of Hope - a fundraiser he instigated to raise awareness and money for cancer research. 

Terry Fox had been diagnosed with bone cancer at 18 years old in 1977.  Terry's right leg had been amputated just above the knee due to bone cancer, but that didn't stop this young man from changing the world of cancer research. 

Terry made his way across the east half of Canada, but in September of that same year, he was forced to stop his quest to run across Canada. After 143 days and running over 3300 miles he was diagnosed with lung cancer, his final stop at thunder Bay Ontario. 

Terry's family continued to champion raising funds and awareness for cancer research, and today the Terry Fox Run has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries.  

Older brother Fred is just 14 months older and continues to share Terry's struggles and accomplishments through community and school visits. Fred has visited a number of schools here in the Westman Region, including Oak Lake, Glenboro, Killarney and Boissevain schools, and knowing he was in the neighborhood the Healthy Lake Committee extended the invite for a Ninette visit.

On Tuesday of this week, Fred was joined by residents from the town of Ninette and surrounding communities to hear his story of Terry's quest, but also to listen to Fred's memories of visiting their grandparents here in Ninette.  Oldest brother Fred, Terry, Darryl and Judy played on the shores of Pelican Lake and at their grandparent's yard as their house was located on the lake.

"I've lots of great memories of swimming in the lake and jumping off the dock they had, playing in the back yard, and doing all the things that we used to do," shares Fox. "My fondest memory is there used to be a Red & White Store here in town and Nana taking us there to buy us a Cuban Lunch there."   (Cuban Lunch is a kind of chocolate bar)

The Terry Fox Park stands on the shores of Pelican Lake and just this year a new piece of playground equipment has been added.  "I always thought it was pretty cool," says Fred.  "I've been here a few times in the past ten years.  I think of this little community in Southern Manitoba has a park named after Terry. It's pretty cool!"

Younger brother, Terry, always saw himself as someone who had to work very hard to accomplish his goals.  This included school, his favorite sport of basketball, dealing with cancer and then his leg amputation.  But Terry had a tenacity in him that carried through his life of only 22 years.

He set out to raise $24 million dollars - $1 for every person in Canada.  With the return of cancer to his body, Terry was forced to end his marathon and felt he was disappointing an entire country.  However, Fred shared the story of how Canadian mailed thousands of letters and donations to their parents, so that before Terry's passing, he had reached his goal.  He had in fact surpassed the $24 million.  Fred says his parents were overwhelmed by the response of all who had watched this young man's attempt to champion cancer research.

"What Terry started in 1980 he raised money but more importantly awareness," shares Fred. "Terry inspired collaboration between research organizations and scientists."

Since Terry's first step in the Atlantic Ocean 44 years ago, over $900 million has been raised for cancer research through the Terry Fox Foundation.

"One of the things that didn't happen when Terry was running in 1980, he never made it to Manitoba," shares Fred, "and he was really, really looking forward to doing that.  He got as far as Thunder Bay.  Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba was waiting for Terry, "he adds. "They were getting prepared, and it never happened. So, if I can be here, mom was here, speaking and sharing stories. If I can be here, then maybe a part of Terry did make it to Manitoba."

Please listen to more with Fred Fox below!

(Photo below: (l-r) Fred Fox poses for a picture with his cousin Pat and Ray Usunier from Killarney)