Nearly 35 years after activist and athlete Terry Fox died after trekking across Canada to raise money and awareness for cancer, Fox’s father, Rolland “Rolly” Fox, has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
A statement from the Fox family says that the 80-year old “remains in very good spirits.”
“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,” the statement read.
Rolly started smoking at the age of 19, but quit in 1986 “on a dare from a brother,” and ran a 10-mile race a year later. He will have been 30-years smoke free in May, according to the family.
As Terry Fox’s father, Rolly has been an active partner in the Terry Fox Foundation, attending Terry Fox Runs across the country on behalf of his son.
His son was 22 when he died in New Westminster, BC, in 1981. Fox had to cut his cross-country marathon short due to health issues, but still walked for 143 days and 5,373 kilometres–travelling the equivalent of one marathon each day.