Beaconsfield High School acknowledged for fundraising efforts towards Terry Fox Run

"I believe over the last 43 years, we’ve hit over $425,000," says Beaconsfield High School teacher and student leadership advisor Adam Cox-Twardowski. BHS is being acknowledged for their annual Terry Fox fundraising efforts. Osa Iyare reports.

By Osa Iyare

Beaconsfield High School (BHS) students are being acknowledged by the Terry Fox Foundation for their fundraising efforts spanning more than 40 years.

Terry Fox is a Canadian hero who ran across the country in 1980 to raise money and awareness for cancer research in what he called the “Marathon of Hope.”

On Friday, Fred Fox, Terry’s older brother, spoke to grade 7 and 11 BHS students about Terry’s life and how the foundation started.

“You know, when Terry came up with the idea after dealing with cancer and that was hard on him but hard on our family as well,” he said. “But to know that your brother is making this big gesture of running across Canada, but more importantly to make a difference and help other people, that was something to be proud of as his brother.”

The only thing that could have stopped Terry from reaching the Pacific Ocean was cancer, which returned in his lungs, forcing him to end his run on Sept. 1, 1980.

Adam Cox-Twardowski is a teacher and student leadership advisor at BHS.

He said that the school has a rich history of celebrating the Terry Fox Run and they’ve been fundraising for that last 43 years.

“This year we raised just over $10,000. We had a $10,000 goal and we did hit that, so we were proud,” he said. “Last year, we raised about $11,000. I believe over the last 43 years, we’ve hit over $425,000 actually, so we’re really proud at BHS for what we’ve been able to accomplish.”

Adam Cox-Twardowski
BHS teacher and student leadership advisor Adam Cox-Twardowski poses for a photo, April 19 2024. (Osa Iyare, CityNews Image)

Cox-Twardowski explained that after the 5km run, students participate in various challenges and activities to celebrate Terry Fox and raise as much money as they can.

“We have BBQs, we have inflatables, we have activities, teacher versus students’ challenges, pie in the face, dunk tanks. Anything that brings that competition level in, students always love that, and it encourages them to bring the forms home and ask family members to sponsor their run.”

In April 1980, Terry embarked on a journey running over 5,000 km with an artificial leg after losing it to cancer.

Before his death on June 28, 1981, he had achieved his once unimaginable goal of $1 from every Canadian.

Terry Fox T-shirt
A Terry Fox shirt is seen, April 19 2024. (Osa Iyare, CityNews Image)

Several BHS students said that Terry fox symbolizes many things ranging from hope to determination. 

“When I think of Terry Fox, I think mainly hope, determination,” said highschooler Jacob Benn. “But really, I also think of selflessness, because what he did not only for himself, he did it for everyone around the globe really, because his research can benefit anyone who’s touched by cancer.”

Grade 7 student Reagan Cummings said it’s important to carry on the Canadian hero’s legacy.

“He was just such an inspiration and I really admire his hard work and his determination. One of my aunts had cancer, and she really motivates me to run and do my best during the Terry Fox run.”

The Terry Fox Run sparked cancer research awareness in Canada, raising more than $850 million since 1980 bringing hope and health to millions of Canadians.

“He gave everybody hope, just people who have cancer but also for their families to raise money for that so they can survive,” said BHS student Emilia Tedford.

Beaconsfield High School entrance
The entrance to Beaconsfield High School is seen, April 19 2024. (Osa Iyare, CityNews Image)

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