On Sept. 12, 2019 Alison Ince celebrates her 84th birthday. Ince is wearing a red T-shirt like many do at the annual Terry Fox run to celebrate their victory against cancer. Ince was Terry Fox’s nurse when he was a patient at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. (Terry Fox Foundation/Facebook)

‘If anybody could do it, he could,’ Terry Fox’s nurse to speak at B.C. run

Alison Ince remembers being ‘impressed’ with Terry Fox when they first met in 1977

Before participants of this year’s Terry Fox run leave the start line in Langley City they will get to hear words of inspiration from the nurse who looked after the Canadian hero while he was in hospital.

Alison Ince, 84, first met Terry Fox at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster in 1977, when he was admitted to have his right leg amputated after a malignant tumor was discovered.

“We were impressed with him,” she recalls. “He was going through all the things you would expect an 18-year-old to go through who suddenly been told he (has cancer) because that’s not something you can take easily.”

Ince said Fox was inspired to run after he read about an amputee runner in a magazine.

“He was a very determined young man and so when he really decided that he was going to do this and run across Canada, I think all of us felt if anybody could do it he could,” said Ince. “He had this real determination about him that I think was quite evident.”

READ MORE: Terry Fox run happening in three Langley communities

During Fox’s battle with cancer Ince said there wasn’t the type of awareness about the disease there is today.

“If you had lost a limb… you wore long pants and long-sleeve shirts… you never showed it,” she said. “If it were cancer it was called the big ‘c’ and you never talked about it because cancer was seen as being an immediate death sentence.”

Ince believes Fox changed all that.

“All of a sudden here is this young man in a pair of running shorts allowing everybody to see his prosthetic leg,” she said. “So he brought it right up in to the consciousness of people, certainly in this country where it had never been before.”

Cancer is no stranger to Ince or her family either. The Barbados native lost her youngest brother to cancer the same year she learned she was diagnosed with the disease.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and so I proudly wear one of the red shirts,” she said. “When you see red T-shirts at the Terry Fox runs, they are all cancer survivors.”

Five years later Ince’s husband lost his battle to cancer.

“One of the things I learned from [Terry] was that never again could I say to myself ‘well I’m only one person, what can I do about it’ because he was only one person and look what he did and… where he has taken us,” she said.

Ince, a Surrey resident, will be speaking at this year’s Terry Fox run at Langley City on Sunday, Sept. 15 before the 10 a.m. run.

The run in Langley City will be held at 20399 Douglas Crescent and registration will begin at 9 a.m.

Ince said you don’t need to be a runner to support the cause.

“Just the fact that you’re turning up you’re still supporting what he stood for,” she said.



joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Revelstoke students describe life during pandemic

Most wonder what the future will be like

YMCA Okanagan offers care for children of essential service workers

Priority will be given to children aged 5 to 12 years old

COVID-19: How Revelstoke schools are tackling the virtual classroom

Technolgy is offering students choices in learning

Pink supermoon lights up night sky in North Okanagan-Shuswap

Largest and brightest full moon of the year was most visible on April 7

Coming together to Do Some Good

The Kelowna Capital News and Lake Country Calendar join a local tech company to support community causes

Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, fear it’s a mistake

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

COVID-19 self-isolation plan or quarantine, returning B.C. residents told

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

RCMP probe sudden death of North Okanagan child

8 year old flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

Fire on evening of April 7 reported near Pyramid Provincial Park

A small wildfire near Pyramid Provincial Park south of Summerland is under… Continue reading

WATCH: Okanagan country singer serenades Predator Ridge residents

Melissa Livingstone wanted to help spread joy through music

Kettle Valley Steam Railway cancels Easter trains

Decision comes as a result of COVID-19 pandemic

Kelowna author raising money for scholarships

Roxi Harms said all book proceeds go to the scholarship fund

Most Read