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 in Langley City

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

Vandals deface Aldergrove elementary school with racist slur, male genitalia

Langley School District confirms it has filed a report with the Langley RCMP

‘Our hands are tied’: Langley Good Times Cruise-In announces cancellation due to COVID-19

People are encouraged to donate to the chosen Langley charities online, said Cruise-In director

Langley Township lifts evacuation alert as flooding threat drops

People are still advised to avoid the Fraser River due to fast running water

Sources receives $70K from SurreyCares

Funds will help with warehouse space for food programs in Surrey, White Rock, Langley

Langley nurse wins yard makeover in contest for frontline workers

The free yardwork helped relieve some of the stress for a Willoughby nurse and mom

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

Most Read