Skip to content

Local long-time Terry Fox Run participants feted by Fox family

'Everyone is touched by cancer and Terry Fox is an amazing and inspiring individual,' says Janice Scott, who participated in first local run in 1983 and was back Sunday

Barbara Bruce, Janice Scott and four others received a hand-written letter from Terry Fox's brother, Fred, at the 40th anniversary of the Heart of Georgian Bay Terry Fox Day on Sunday.

"It's so beautifully touching," said Scott, of Penetanguishene, who has been supporting the event since the first local one was held in 1983. The first one in Canada was held in 1980.

"Dear Terry," is the theme of the 2023 Terry Fox Run. The Heart of Georgian Bay Terry Fox Day committee decided to reverse the theme and honour individuals who took part in the first run in Midland.

Event chair Don Chapman and others were able to locate 10 of the pioneer runners. Six of them were able to take part in Sunday's event at Perkinsfield Park including Scott, Bruce, Jacques Brunet, Randy Hargrave, Dan Gilbert and Lionel Magnan.

Chapman invited them up stage and presented them an envelope without telling them what was inside.

Once the runners had departed, Scott opened her letter and read it to MidlandToday.

Dear Janice.

On behalf of Terry's family, thank you for being a part of the first Terry Fox Run in the Heart of Georgian Bay in 1983. This event began 40 years ago with 29 pioneers including you and raised almost $2,000 for cancer research.

From this humble beginning, the event has flourished and now contributes $100,000 annually. 

Please accept our thanks and gratitude for keeping Terry's dream alive. We truly appreciate your support. All the best.

Fred Fox, on behalf of the Terry Fox Foundation

Scott has taken part in many Terry Fox runs since 1983. 

"Everyone is touched by cancer and Terry Fox is an amazing and inspiring individual. I just wanted to support it and since then cancer has touched my family in major ways," she said.

Scott made a donation this year and did her walk on Saturday.

Bruce remembers the first run at Little Lake Park 40 years ago. It was a 10-kilometre course.

"I remember ... everyone was clapping. I was the last one. It took me two hours. I walked. I know the ambulance passed a couple of times and I was thinking I'm still here. I was only in my forties then," she said.

"What's amazing is what Terry did, not what I did. I'm just here to honour him today," she said.

Bruce, who now uses a walker, walked approximately two kilometres in Sunday's event, with her faithful canine companion at her side.

A fundraising total will be announced later.

Reader Feedback

Gisele Winton Sarvis

About the Author: Gisele Winton Sarvis

Gisele Winton Sarvis is an award winning journalist and photographer who has focused on telling the stories of the people of Simcoe County for more than 25 years
Read more