The Four Seasons Hotel KL and Langkawi honour legacy of Terry Fox in fun runs

Funds raised through the event will go to Cancer Research Malaysia.

The first run hosted by Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur last year attracted 700 participants (Photo: Four Seasons Hotel)

Cancer has become a leading killer globally in recent years, accounting for an estimated 10 million deaths in 2020. And each year, about 400,000 children are affected by it. Among the heart-wrenching stories of young cancer sufferers is that of Canadian Terry Fox, who was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma, a type of bone cancer, at 18 in 1977.

While his peers were living a carefree life, preparing to pursue tertiary education and carving their path into early adulthood, Fox had his right leg amputated 15cm above the knee. He had to undergo 16 months of excruciating treatment.

The time he spent in the cancer wards was both heart-rending and eye-opening. After witnessing the suffering around him, Fox knew he had to do something about it. “It took cancer to realise that being self-centred is not the way to live. The answer is to try and help others.”

He learnt that getting cancer treatment and performing clinical studies on the illness cost a lot of money, and he decided to run across Canada in a Marathon of Hope to spread awareness of and raise funds for cancer research.

Fox, who had always been active in sports, ran through provinces such as Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Ontario, stopping in more than 400 towns, schools and cities to talk to the locals about the reason for his endeavour.


Terry Fox with founder, chairman and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Isadore Sharp (Photo: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts)

He attracted the attention of media and corporations. But Fox was clear about his goal, and fame was not something he was after. “They seem to forget what I’m doing this for. They think I’m running across Canada on some kind of an ego trip. It is a personal challenge, but I’m trying to raise as much money as I can for a very important cause. I need their financial support,” he said.

After 143 days, he completed 5,373km before finding out that the cancer had spread to his lungs. His determination and resilience inspired fellow Canadian Isadore Sharp, founder, chairman and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Sharp sent a telegram to Fox’s family, expressing his intention to uphold the latter’s legacy with a heartfelt message: “You started it. We will not rest until your dream to find a cure for cancer is realised.”

Following Fox’s death in June 1981, Sharp managed to gather sponsors to kick-start the first Terry Fox Run in September that year, drawing more than 300,000 participants.

That marked the beginning of the annual Terry Fox Run organised by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts around the world. The first run hosted by Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur was held on May 7 last year, where 700 participants took part and a sum of RM45,000 was raised.

Looking at the success of the inaugural event, the hotel will hold the second Terry Fox Run in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 4. Participants can take part in the 5km run at their own pace (no official results will be recorded), covering the KL Car-Free Morning route.

Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur general manager Blaise Montandon says: “As we prepare to host our second Terry Fox Run this August, I am filled with immense pride and gratitude. This event is more than just a run; it is a powerful reminder of hope, resilience and the incredible progress we can achieve together in the fight against cancer.

“By uniting our communities, we honour Terry Fox’s enduring legacy and reinforce our commitment to making a difference. Together, we are stronger; and, together, we will continue to carry forward this remarkable cause.”



Those who want to participate in the run in a more tranquil setting surrounded by greenery and other natural elements can join the one organised by Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, which will host its first Terry Fox Run on July 6. Runners can anticipate a journey through scenic areas around Air Hangat. Starting at Dataran Tanjung Rhu, they will make their way towards Tanjung Rhu Mangrove Jetty, where they can experience a picturesque trail through the mangrove river, with views of ancient rock formations and pine trees along the riverbanks.

Four Seasons Resort Langkawi general manager Ivan Giles says: “We are honoured to host Langkawi’s inaugural Terry Fox Run and join this global movement of solidarity and hope. Every bit of support for cancer research brings us one step closer to a breakthrough.

“Terry once said, ‘I’m not a dreamer, and I’m not saying this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to.’ His words continue to inspire my team and me to believe in the power of collective effort and unwavering hope.”

Funds raised by Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi through the runs will go to Cancer Research Malaysia to support the organisation’s work in discovering new and efficient ways of prevention and cure for the disease.

This article first appeared on July 1, 2024 in The Edge Malaysia.


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