“Although Terry’s achievement was enormous in its scope, it was accomplished one step and one mile at a time.” Terry Fox, His Story by Leslie Serivener, McClelland and Stewart, 1981.
On April 12, 1980, Terry Fox embarked on his “Marathon of Hope”. The dream of the 21-year-old Canadian, who had lost his leg to cancer three years previously, was to run across Canada from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific Coast in aid of cancer research. Terry wanted to raise one million dollars; he hoped to run thirty to forty miles a day to get to his home in Port Coquitlam, near Vancouver, within six months. He really hoped to have each Canadian contribute $1.00.
Terry Fox was an ordinary young man, average in everything except determination. Brimming with hope, Terry embarked on his run believing he could do it. A competitive man, Terry wanted to show people that he wasn’t disabled or handicapped. Terry Fox never once let the enormity of his vision frighten him. It was his mental attitude that ensured his success. His will to succeed enabled him to defy the odds. He battled the extreme elements, the challenging geography of Canada and cancer to achieve his goal.
“Terry Fox saw the “Marathon of Hope” as more than a run; he saw it as a great swelling of common purpose among the people of Canada. He was touched beyond words by those who cheered him, supported his cause and shared his dream. He had come close to Canadians through six provinces and sensed that those people, too, wanted to help the world along a little and were inspired by his positive example. He did not want to let anyone down.” Terry Fox, His Story (page 140)
Four and a half months later and 2,000 miles from his final goal, Terry Fox was forced to stop his Marathon of Hope due to the cancer that had spread to his lungs. Although he vowed to complete his run, this was not to be realized. After raising 23.4 million dollars, and realizing his dream of one dollar from every Canadian, Terry Fox died at 4:35 a.m., June 28.
This is Terry’s legacy. Terry succeeded in raising awareness of the need to support cancer research. The odds of survival have increased significantly in the past 15 years. Terry also showed the world that one young person can make a difference to others. While cancer may have claimed his life, his spirit lives on. It is this spirit that is the namesake for our school. It is our hope that the students of Terry Fox School will carry within them something of his spirit as they embark on their journey through life.
The Terry Fox School community works together towards establishing a quality learning environment in which all learners are engaged in purposeful work. Students will construct meaning and acquire deeper understandings within a safe and supportive social context. We imagine a place of learning where students ultimately acquire the skills, knowledge and attitudes demonstrated by responsible citizens, lifelong learners who are critical and creative thinkers, self-directed, effective communicators and collaborative team players.
- That learners learn best in a safe, dynamic, collaborative learning community characterized by choice, supported risk taking, and positive interpersonal relationships.
- Our teaching practices demonstrate strong beliefs in purposeful and meaningful involvement, and construction of knowledge.
- In establishing and nurturing strong interpersonal relationships within our learning community.
- Students take responsibility for their own learning and behaviour when they are provided with clear expectations and relevant feedback.
- Diversity is addressed through a variety of teaching and learning strategies that recognize different learning styles, multiple intelligences, and the need for differentiated instruction. Respect and personal excellence are the by-products of quality learning.