Honouring Grandpa Gray

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Alex Kurial/Local Journalism Initiative

The Terry Fox Run is a day Stacy Gordon always shared with her father Allan Gray. It was deeply personal for both of them.
“I lost my Mom to cancer years ago, and I got my dad started with the run,” Gordon says.
When Allan was diagnosed with cancer years later, he never stopped participating in the annual run with his daughter.
And he never stopped fighting the disease, battling six years after being given a stage 4 diagnosis.
Allan Gray passed away earlier this year. Gordon resolved that she would make this run one of her strongest fundraisers ever in his memory.
“We’re doing it in honor of my dad,” she says. “Everybody who knew my dad loved him, so we have a lot of people who felt it was important this year to help out.”
Gordon organized a Facebook group and support began to pour in from family, friends and many other people who knew Allan. A preliminary tally the morning of the run showed more than $5,000 had been raised, with donations still trickling in throughout the day.
Gordon took part in the 2020 run – dubbed “One Day. Your Way.” – with her family and friends.
The group wore shirts saying “Remembering Grandpa Gray” on the back, and resolved to walk a ‘country block’ around her Lasalle Line home. This distance varies depending on who you ask and where you are, but Gordon estimated about a two hour round-trip. Anyone who got tired could take a break in the cart her son was driving alongside.
And although her run this year had a notable absence, Gordon knows her dad is smiling on their efforts. “We’re very happy, my dad would be proud,” she says.
Gordon says Allan always taught her “to be a big part of your community. And be a big supporter of the non-profit organizations, and Terry Fox especially.”
Gordon’s successful group organization even earned her a call from the Terry Fox organization.
“The head office in Toronto called me yesterday and wished me good luck tomorrow,” Gordon said Sunday.
“They called up to say thank you. So that was neat.”
Gordon still has a part to play in this year’s Terry Fox Run.
A teacher at LCCVI in Petrolia, on Friday, Sept. 25 the students will be taking part in a school run of their own.
The usual hour-long school-wide walk will be replaced by smaller cohorts, but organizers are still determined to keep the same spirit.
“Everything is new and day-by-day, but it’s still important to do,” Gordon says. “We’re going to do it in a special way this year so we’re social distancing, but we’re still doing it.”