VANCOUVER — NBA star Steve Nash was a six-year-old boy growing up in Victoria when Terry Fox became a powerful force in his life.
The year was 1980 and Fox was pursuing his dream of raising money for cancer research in the Marathon of Hope. The British Columbia native had lost his right leg to cancer at age 18 and had an artificial limb made of steel and fibreglass.
“I remember being a six-year-old boy and waking up every morning and rushing to the TV to see where Terry was that day.
“To see him running or hobbling across our country for the spirit of community and looking out for others was something that has stuck with me ever since. To see his face hiding the pain and to hear his words disguising the sacrifice was as motivating and as educational an experience as I’ve ever had,” Nash told ESPN.
Nash ventured into film to tell the story of Fox and the documentary ‘Into the Wind’ was met with a standing ovation in its recent premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
‘Into the Wind’ will be aired in Canada by TSN2 on Sunday to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Terry Fox run, which is held in more than 40 countries.
The event is the largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research in the world and has raised more than $500 million to date.
Nash, a point guard with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and two-time league most valuable player, co-directed ‘Into the Wind’ with his cousin, Ezra Holland.
“The opportunity to tell it to a relatively new audience was very powerful,” Nash said. “Most of all, for me, it would just be great if the film can help Terry inspire people like he inspired me.”
Throughout the 51-minute documentary, interviews with family and friends and television footage are interspersed with narrated entries from Fox’s journals.
The 22-year-old Fox was largely ignored by the media when he set off from Newfoundland but his run gained momentum as he pushed westward.
Eventually, crowds lined the roads to watch Fox with the hop-step running gait that has since become ingrained in Canada’s national psyche.
After 143 days and 5,373 kilometres, two-thirds of the way to his goal, Fox was forced to stop running just outside of Thunder Bay, Ont.
His cancer had come back and spread to his lungs. Fox died nine months later, in June 1981.
The first Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research was held that September and soon became a fall tradition.© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
NBA star Steve Nash tells the story of Terry Fox in documentaryIn Canada on September 18, 2010 at 21:08