Toronto Star Reporter & Author Leslie Scrivener
Terry Fox Story: Once in a Lifetime
Every reporter hopes to cover that one
big story and for some, it never comes. For Leslie Scrivener, Toronto Star
reporter and author of "Terry Fox
His Story", she didn't have to wait long. Looking back 30 years ago,
Scrivener was interviewed on what it was like to report on this historical
"I had only been working for the
Star for about a year and half when Family Editor, Bonnie Cornell asked me to
locate Terry and 'find out if he was for real'. Cornell's mother had passed away
around that time from cancer of the liver.
"The Star research center tracked
him down in Come by Chance, Newfoundland. He was happy to be contacted as he
wasn't getting a lot of attention at that time," Scrivener commented.
"Initially, I did weekly updates
with Terry. He was very accommodating and talked about what it was like to run.
I couldn't help but wonder what his Mom thought about this journey," Scrivener
Scrivener finally met Terry as he
crossed the Quebec//Ontario border in Hawkesbury, Ont. "I was very shy",
Scrivener recalls. "There was just something very wonderful, exceptional about
him. He was very selfless and good looking."
For the next 36 hours, Scrivener
rode in the van and became part of the Marathon of Hope. "Imagine two 20 year
old lads, with sweaty socks and t-shirts and food without refrigeration; the
smell was terrible," Scrivener commented. During those hours, she witnessed
their routine, Terry's intensity and the silence. This was a very serious
endeavor and it was bloody hard. To Terry, this was also an athletic
Those precious moments will always
live with Scrivener. "To be in that situation is damn luck. You're a part of
history, but at the time, not aware of it. It was so unique; there is nothing
that can compare. As a reporter, it was challenging not to be a fan and
supporter," Scrivener shares.
Looking back over 30 years,
Scrivener is surprised that so many countries have embraced Terry's story and is
pleased to see the money that's been raised as well as the advances in medical
"Terry was a unifier, he was the
thread that joined the country together."
"My kids are pleased that their
Mother has a connection to Terry, they just wish they could have gotten to know