It is with heavy hearts that we wish to share with Terry Foxers from coast to coast and around the world that our Dad and Grandfather, Rolland (Rolly) Fox, has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer. He remains in very good spirits, confirmed by the dated and overused humour we are forced to endure. Though initially troubled by the news, Rolly is committed to approaching the challenge now before him by adhering to the traits - optimism and a never give up attitude – that he likely passed on to his son Terry.
Rolly, who will be 81 in March, started smoking at age 19, consistent with the times. He quit smoking on a dare from a brother on May 24, 1986 and exactly a year later ran a 10 miler. It will be 30 years this May that Dad took his last puff. Rolly has been a behind-the-scenes believer of Terry’s mission for 36 years. More recently, with the passing of Betty, his wife of 54 years and Terry’s Mom, he has been more active visiting Terry Fox Runs across Canada and personally signing over 14,000 thank-you letters every year.
Lung cancer claims the lives of more Canadians than any other form of cancer, though because of the smoking stigma it is often neglected as a funding priority for research. The Terry Fox Research Institute, with funding from the Terry Fox Foundation, recently completed a pan-Canadian study to detect lung cancer early. We thank you for your continued support for our family during this period and for keeping alive Terry’s dream of ending cancer through research.
Our family will endeavour to keep supporters updated but will not be making any further public comments at this time.
The Terry Fox Family