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 terryfox.org, 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.
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!