So I now have purple hair. Not lavender, mauve or a washed out shade. More like the Hex colour #A020F0. Or an incredible shade of Purple Haze. Okay, you might have to Google Jimi Hendrix to get that last one. But the point being that my hair is really purple, very purple, and will remain this vibrant shade of purple for some time to come, because this isn’t the kind of purple hair dye that washes out. Fades, slowly lingers, disappears down the shower drain. Nope. This is the staying-in-until-it-grows-out kind of hair colouring that latched on quite nicely to what bleached blond streaks I formerly sported in my coiffure. This is the purple you get as a result of pushy teenage determination, a challenge accepted, and a school with the amazing drive to support Terry Fox’s dream for a world without cancer. And when $350 is raised for the cause and a challenge is met, a teacher librarian with purple hair is the result. I’m so proud of your passionate support of the cause, Gators!
I lost both my fathers to cancer. My dad died from an especially aggressive form of cancer that spread to his brain. My stepdad died within an hour after receiving his first radiation treatment against the lung cancer that invaded his body. But my husband is a long-time cancer survivor, so is my BFF Cindy, and there are many examples of positive outcomes amongst my other friends, colleagues, and even the staff and students in this school. They are no longer outliers. Considerable progress is being made and the creative research approaches sponsored by the Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research are providing the treatments and cures.
Every time I read Terry’s story I am amazed by the determination and the accomplishments of this young man. As a runner myself, I’ve experienced many injuries as I trained for races. I’ve run countless 10Ks and half marathons, and completed 26 marathons in all, including the coveted Boston Marathon a few years back. From this perspective, I can’t begin to imagine getting up morning after morning and running a marathon a day for 143 days. Terry was a young man who lived a life that towered beyond amazing in his relentlessness to help researchers find a cure for cancer.
We have 10 different books about Terry Fox in our WGSS Library collection. You may have seen them in our recent display and maybe even read one. But Douglas Copeland’s book simply entitled Terry, is worth opening because it presents a unique twist on his story. It’s visual storytelling at its best, portraying images of real objects from Terry’s world to chronicle his story. The pages that always affect me most are the ones showing the photographs of a lemon and a golf ball. Come down to the library and I’ll help you find the book and you can read it yourself. Find the lemon and golf ball pages. Hold them up. Imagine. Understand. That’s my challenge to you, Walnut Grove.