Participants across Canada took part in another virtual Terry Fox Run last Sunday, Sept. 19, to help raise awareness and funds for cancer research.

The event honours Terry Fox, the young B.C. man who lost a leg to cancer before embarking on his legendary Marathon of Hope run across Canada in 1980. On his way from the Atlantic Ocean to Northern Ontario, Fox’s marathon-a-day odyssey riveted the nation. But the return of cancer forced him to halt the run near Thunder Bay, Ont. in September 1980.

Fox died in 1981, but the annual Terry Fox Run held in his honour has spread to 60 countries around the world and raised more than $800 million since 1981.

This year’s theme was “Your day your way #TryLikeTerry,” chosen, said organizers, in hopes of keeping communities united even when they couldn’t be together.

Tom Lingard, co-organizer of the Ottawa Terry Fox Run, and his family have been participating in the annual fundraiser for over 15 years, but this year is particularly special for their family.

Tom Lingard holding a picture of his deceased mom.
Tom Lingard and his family take part in the Terry Fox Run every year, but this year was different. “We lost my mother to pancreatic cancer in April,” Lingard said. “This means we’re already down a member but are still committed to walking.” [Photo © Anyse Lebeau]
Stephanie Lingard walking with her son Danny.

For the Lingards, the Terry Fox Run symbolizes family. “Before the pandemic I didn’t get to participate with my family because I was always so busy volunteering,” Lingard said. “Now I can actually spend the day with my family.” [Photo © Anyse Lebeau]
The back of Stephanie Lingard's shirt that says "Try Like Terry."
This year’s theme is #TryLikeTerry. “It’s actually funny no one thought of it sooner, but someone on the board said: ‘Hey, try is in the word Terry,” Lingard said [Photo © Anyse Lebeau]
Emily Lingard, Lingard's daughter, pointing at her Terry Fox t-shirt.

Emily Lingard, Lingard’s daughter, is happy to share her grandma’s story with anyone who will listen. “I lost two grandparents from cancer and I love walking for Terry Fox,” Emily said. “If Terry could do it, I can do it.” [Photo © Anyse Lebeau]
Tom Lingard cooking hotdogs on the barbecue.

Lingard and his family incorporate all of Terry Fox’s traditions throughout the day. “It’s said that Terry would go for his morning run and Doug, his friend, would park about a mile ahead,” said Lingard, referring to Doug Alward, Fox’s close friend and driver of the Marathon of Hope van that accompanied Fox on his cross-Canada run in 1980. “Once Terry made it to Doug, he would stop and have a hotdog and water.” [Photo © Anyse Lebeau]
Danny Lingard eating a chocolate chip cookie.
Danny Lingard, Lingard’s son, is well aware of what the Terry Fox Run symbolizes for his family. He knows his grandma was really sick because of cancer but his favourite way to honour Terry Fox is by eating Fox’s favourite foods. “Terry fox loved chocolate chip cookies and I love chocolate chip cookies,” Danny said. “He also loved hot dogs and I love hotdogs cut up.” [Photo © Anyse Lebeau]
Emily and Danny Lingard reading books titled "Terry Fox."

Lingard’s children are well aware of the effects of cancer, and they’re encouraged to read Terry Fox books to better understand Fox’s story. “The Terry Fox books are a great way to help kids understand cancer and death,” Stephanie Lingard said. “It’s a true help to parents.” [Photo © Anyse Lebeau]
Yellow and pink flowers with a bird bath in the background.

Lingard’s family knows the sad reality of losing loved ones to cancer. “Stephanie’s mom and my mom both loved birds,” said Lingard, referring to a statuesque bird bath in the family’s backyard. “We wanted to create a home memorial to have them with us.” [Photo © Anyse Lebeau]