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

Sonia Furstenau column: Proud of moving forward important issues over the last year

During the announcement, I reflected on the role my office played

Drivesmart column: The difficulty with stop signs

One wouldn’t think that stopping at a stop sign would be such a problem for drivers.

Duncan Christian hoops teams back in action with a busy month

Senior boys and girls play league and tournament games

Robert Barron column: Immigrants in the Cowichan Valley are an asset

If they are successful, the family would be a great addition to the Valley

Cowichan Coffee Time: Cheque presentations and a new president

• South Cowichan Healthcare Auxiliary presented a cheque in the amount of… Continue reading

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read