Betty Fox Kept The Marathon Of Hope Alive

Betty FoxBetty Fox, mother of Canadian icon Terry Fox, has died.

Her son, Terry, became a national hero in Canada when he set out to run across the country to raise money for cancer research. Terry Fox ran his Marathon of Hope in April 1980 after he had lost a leg to bone cancer. He had to end his run half-way across Canada—after more than 5,300 kilometres—when the cancer spread to his lungs. It claimed his life in 1981, when he was just 22.

Like her famous son, Betty Fox was also a Canadian icon. After her son died, she kept his Marathon of Hope alive by publicizing it in the media, doing interviews and helping with the many Marathons of Hope that still spring up across the country each year in Terry’s honour.

Betty helped carry the Canadian flag at the opening ceremonies for the Vancouver Olympics in February 2010. With her husband, she also ignited the flame of the Paralympic torch.

For 30 years, Betty Fox carried the flame of her son’s legacy. She made sure the Marathon of Hope continued to uphold Terry’s ideals after his death and didn’t become tarnished by the “quick bucks” that could have come from inappropriate corporate sponsorships. To this day, the Terry Fox run remains non-competitive, open to all and has no advertising.

More than half a billion dollars has been raised for cancer research by the Terry Fox Foundation.

Betty Fox had been suffering from complications from diabetes and arthritis. She died on June 17.Terry Fox

At a gathering in Betty’s honour in Port Coquitlam, BC, Betty’s son Darrell remembered the life-lessons she taught her children—three sons and a daughter—to stand up for yourself, to fight for what you believe in and to be generous.

Thousands of Canadians sent Betty messages of encouragement when she was sick.

Rick Hansen, whose Man in Motion Tour was inspired by Terry Fox, said that Betty Fox fulfilled Terry’s wishes and kept his dream alive.


Writing/Discussion Prompt
Darrell Fox remembers the lessons his mother, Betty, taught him while he was growing up: (1) to stand up for yourself, (2) to fight for what you believe in, and (3) to be generous. What three life-lessons have you learned from someone in your family?

Reading Prompt
The journalist who wrote today’s article wrote that, “Like her famous son, Betty Fox was also a Canadian icon.” What information does the journalist include that supports this belief? Do you agree with the journalist?

Express personal opinions about ideas presented in texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Make judgments and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views(OME, Reading: 1.8).

Evaluate the effectiveness of both simple and complex texts based on evidence from the texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Grammar Feature: Metaphor
When a writer uses a metaphor, they are selecting certain words to make a comparison between two things. For example, a writer who wants to describe someone as courageous and strong, might think to compare them to an animal with these qualities, like a lion. They could then use a metaphor in the following way: Samantha has the heart of a lion.

Today’s article includes the following metaphor:

“For 30 years, Betty Fox carried the flame of her son’s legacy.”

What is the author trying to say in this sentence? Why do you think the author chose to use this metaphor here?