Finally A Real Family Dinner Conversation – Thanks to Terry Fox


After many nights failed attempts, we finally had a real conversation as a family over dinner. My eldest son’s school sent home information about their Terry Fox run being held this coming Thursday. In addition to the fundraising form, there was a discussion sheet to encourage parents to talk with their children about what the Terry Fox run is all about. Thanks to this discussion guide from, the Hallsworth family discussed who was Terry Fox, did mom and dad remember his Marathon of Hope 30 years ago, why was Terry Fox special, how big is Canada, the importance of setting goals and finally – cancer.

Terry Fox – Marathon of Hope 30th Anniversary

My son understands who Terry Fox is and what he did. I hope he realized tonight how remarkable Terry Fox was – creating awareness for a disease that most didn’t know a lot about in 1980. Thirty years ago, I don’t remember cancer being a word that many 8 or 9 year olds woud know. He is growing up in a society that is very aware of what cancer is and most have been affected directly or indirectly. We talked about what causes cancer – Smoking was his first answer. We talked about who we know who has cancer. The list started with Grandma who has had cancer for his entire 8 years and before. He had a hard time understanding why if cancer can cause people to die – how do some people live with it for years. We didn’t have an answer for this one except to say we need to help raise money to help find a cure so people won’t die from cancer. We also added that Grandma is a tough old bird – so say her doctors!

We also talked with our son about setting goals – no matter how impossible they seem – and trying our best to achieve them. He understands how large a country Canada is – he seemed a bit astounded that someone would try to run across the whole country. We explained how Canadians lined the road to cheer Terry Fox on and how some ran or biked along side him to give him support. I hope he took away a few things from our conversation – setting goals and doing our best to reach them is important and fulfilling, giving friends and family encouragement and support to help them achieve their goals is rewarding, and helping to find a cure for cancer is important.
On Thursday, September 30th, he will be participating in the Terry Fox Run at his school for Grandma and many others we know whose bodies have been invaded by this horrible disease.
We hope that we are also teaching him that “dreams are made possible if you try” – Terry Fox. and that he, along with many others, find success in achieving their goals no matter what size.

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