Local author shares Terry Fox’s story with kids

Mary Beth Leatherdale, author of "Terry Fox and Me". (Photo submitted by Mary Beth Leatherdale)

An author who grew up in Ridgetown is making sure kids know the story of Terry Fox.

Mary Beth Leatherdale has written a picture book called “Terry Fox and Me” which tells the story of Terry and his best friend Doug Alward.

“So many of us know Doug Alward as ‘the guy who drove the van for the Marathon of Hope,’ but Doug and Terry were friends throughout their lives,” said Leatherdale. “Competing with each other in sports, and challenging each other, and just seeing each other through good times and bad.”

Leatherdale said she wanted to write a book for kids about Terry’s life, and was inspired to tell the story of Terry and Doug’s friendship when she came across a quote from Terry’s younger brother Darrell.

“It said ‘without Doug Alward, there would never of been a Marathon of Hope.’ So I was very intrigued by that, so I started digging deeper and going back to some of the sources I had already read, and realized what a critical role Doug played throughout Terry’s life,” she said.

Leatherdale hopes the one thing that kids take away from the book is to take things one step at a time.

“The most important lesson what that Terry Fox wasn’t born a hero, he was just an ordinary kid, and having his friend by his side allowed him to accomplish what he did,” she said.

“Terry Fox and Me” is available for purchase at bookstores and online.

The Terry Fox Run will place virtually in communities across Canada on Sunday, September 20. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of Terry’s Marathon of Hope.