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Walk a Mile in My Shoes - Terry Foster


By Robin Van Der Vleuten


This year marks Terry Foster’s 39th Annual 10 km Cystic Fibrosis Walk and his 38th Terry Fox Walk. What began as an interest, all those years ago, has turned into a passion for helping others.

Terry started his fundraising walks when his wife introduced him to her cousin Ira Peters, who has Cystic Fibrosis. Watching Ira’s mother pound on Ira’s back, to break up the mucus in her lungs, inspired Terry to walk for the cause, starting with Zeller’s Cystic Fibrosis Walk.

A few years later, he got an invitation from Candace McGuigan, whose daughter Ashlynn has Cystic Fibrosis, to walk in the Peterborough fundraiser. Ashlynn calls Terry the ‘Cystic Fibrosis Santa Claus’ because he picks up toys for the Toy Drive in Lindsay. “That name has stuck and even people at the office in Toronto know me by that name,” Terry stated.

Terry has fundraised for many charities, including Multiple Sclerosis, A Place Called Home and Terry Fox.

“Every walk I do is 10 kms. When this year is done, I will have completed one hundred and twenty-seven 10k walks for charities, fundraising over $227,000.00 for Cystic Fibrosis and over $200,000.00 for Terry Fox”.

Terry’s history of fundraising has gotten him recognition. In 2020, the city of Kawartha Lakes named Terry 'Citizen of the Year' and a local magazine wrote an article about him. Terry said, everyone pats him on the back, but he prefers to highlight the people of Lindsay, as they give so much when he goes from door to door.

Enthusiastic about the process he said, “They are learning and know how many people make donations for these charities. I can get 20 names to a page of sponsors, and this year, I filled 45 sheets for the Cystic Fibrosis Walk, raising over $16,000,” he shared.

Several years ago, he realized he had not done much fundraising for Multiple Sclerosis. So, he came up with an idea. To prepare for this walk, out on the highway, he got a t-shirt and wrote the names of people with Multiple Sclerosis. “180 names were on my shirt. Then I thought, if I can do it for Multiple Sclerosis, why not do it for Cystic Fibrosis.” He explained the meaning behind his shirt, stating younger children had difficulty saying Cystic Fibrosis and thought he was saying 65 ROSES, when he spoke to them. Terry had the words 65 ROSES printed on his t-shirt. In addition, the names of 160 people, who deal with Cystic Fibrosis, he has met, either on his walks, online or who have reached out to him personally, he carries with him, printed on the t-shirt.

In September, Terry will be doing the Terry Fox Walk again but with a different purpose, as he battles with cancer once again. Determined to kick this cancer to the curb as well, he remains positive.

"There is practically no place I cannot walk. I have done five official walks for various charities, on the highway, walking over 450-500 km. I have proven I can walk anywhere."

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09 jul

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