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ONLINE SPECIAL: Fox's brother speaks to alma mater

A few months ago, Fred Fox dug into his parents' old photo albums and came up with a treasure trove of memories.

A few months ago, Fred Fox dug into his parents' old photo albums and came up with a treasure trove of memories.

And this morning (Friday), the elder brother of Canadian hero Terry Fox shared some of the newly discovered pictures during an assembly at his alma mater in Port Coquitlam.

The slideshow featured snapshots his late mother, Betty, had tucked away that included the family's early years in Winnipeg, Surrey and PoCo in the 1960s and '70s.

Among them were a Christmas scene of Terry and Fred dressed identically (the two boys were 14 months apart), a vacation in Manitoba and Terry's 21st birthday.

Nearly 1,600 students, staff and teachers at Terry Fox secondary viewed the images and heard Fred Fox talk fondly about his brother, his competitive streak at home and school, and his 1980 Marathon of Hope to raise research dollars for cancer - a disease that took his life at the age of 22.

Fred Fox said he had just returned from a cross-country jaunt that included Winnipeg to speak to school kids in support of the 32nd annual Terry Fox Run, which happens Sunday, "and I've been looking forward to this," he said, gesturing to the Terry Fox crowd.

"I can't tell you how important it is to me to be back here... Terry is everywhere in this school. He would be so proud to know that he led by example."

Fox spoke to the students about his brother's challenges while growing up, noting he was an average student academically but excelled in sports because of his drive. By Grade 10, he was named captain of the school basketball team.

His teachers and coaches at Glen elementary, Mary Hill junior high (now Pitt River middle) and PoCo high never gave up on him and "Terry never quit," said Fred Fox - a comment echoed by Fox's soccer coach, Bruce Moore, a cancer survivor who also spoke at Friday's assembly.

By the time he graduated, Terry Fox was named athlete of the year, an honour he shared with his best friend, Doug Alward, who would later accompany Fox on the Marathon of Hope.

Fred Fox recalled the day when Terry learned he had cancer, news the SFU undergraduate took humbly. And Fred remembered when Terry started running so much that his family thought he was training for the Vancouver Marathon. In fact, he and his friend, Rick Hansen, were getting ready for a 17-mile race in Prince George - a contest in which the amputee finished last but proud of the accomplishment.

As for the Marathon of Hope, Fred Fox said Terry had already run 5,000 km - mostly around the Tri-Cities - to prepare for the cross-Canada adventure.

"I never saw him train," Fred Fox said, noting his brother often ran early in the morning to avoid drivers' glares.

Fred said he visited his brother twice during the Marathon of Hope: the first time in Toronto in July 1980 when it was hot and humid and there was plenty of media coverage ("I finally saw what everybody was excited about"); the second time in August in Wawa, Ont., when Terry was thinner and coughed frequently.

It was in Chilliwack, during the road trip home, when the family learned Terry was in the Thunder Bay hospital, sick again with cancer. He stopped the Marathon of Hope on Sept. 1, 1980, and died in June 1981.

Fred Fox said his brother's courage and perseverance still live today with the annual run in his name. And he spoke of his brother's desire to "pass on the torch" to Canadians to continue with cancer research.

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The Tri-Cities hosts four Terry Fox Runs on Sunday:


Where: Hyde Creek recreation centre (1379 Laurier Ave.)

Routes: 2.5 km, 6 km and 10 km

10-km roads: Prairie Avenue, Fremont Street, Riverside Drive, Riverwood Gate, Coast Meridian Road, Coquitlam Avenue, Flint Street, Dorset Avenue, Shaughnessy Street, Lincoln Avenue, Coast Meridian Road

When: 10 a.m. start

Speakers: Breast cancer survivor Wendie den Brok, cancer survivor Bruce Moore (Fox's soccer coach) and Mayor Greg Moore

Entertainment: Brad Lovell and Legal Limit

Last year's total: Around $100,000

Last year's participants: 2,000

Volunteers needed: Call 604-418-9177 or 604-944-1200 or email [email protected]



Where: Blue Mountain Park (975 King Albert Ave.)

Routes: 2 km, 6 km and 10 km

10-km roads: Blue Mountain Street, Gatensbury Street, Austin Avenue

When: Noon start

Speaker: Leukemia survivor and award-winning downhill mountain biker Nick Geddes, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart and Coun. Selina Robinson

Entertainment: The 40H4 band, zumba class (from noon to 12:30 p.m. for non-walkers), Sun Hang Do martial arts demo and board breaking, children's activities, prize giveaways and refreshments

Last year's total: About $15,000

Last year's participants: 240

Volunteers needed: Call 604-762-1081 or email [email protected]



Where: Covered stage at Rocky Point Park (2800-block of Murray Street)

Routes: 2 km, 5 km and 10 km

10-km roads: Along the Shoreline Trail plus three kilometres on Alderside Road

When: 10 a.m. start

Speakers: Rotarian Gene Vickers and Mayor Mike Clay

Entertainment: Tony Prophet and the Port Moody secondary cheer squad

Last year's total: $6,500

Last year's participants: 205

Volunteers needed: Call 604-868-8844 or email [email protected]



Where: Village hall (2697 Sunnyside Rd.)

Route: 2 km

2-km roads: Sunnyside Road, Ravenswood Drive, Magnolia Way, Fern Drive, Hemlock Drive, Sunnyside Road

When: Noon start

Speakers: Organizer Johnathan Davidson

Entertainment: To be confirmed

Last year's total: About $1,000

Last year's participants: 100

Volunteers needed: [email protected]