Terry Fox Foundation Donor Story

From Terry’s legacy to yours

John Hopkins, Legacy Donor, Terry Fox Foundation
Legacy donor John Hopkins in his cancer survivor t-shirt with his dog Max.
Photo by Philip Raphael/Richmond News

Article by Andrea Tang, MBA
Manager, Philanthropic Relations
Terry Fox Foundation

John Hopkins was working in Winnipeg when he first heard about the young man running across Canada. He remembers the impact of seeing Terry Fox on TV when he started his Marathon of Hope. “To know a man on one leg made it halfway across our country was extraordinary,” John shares. “And his efforts have united Canada with so many runs done in his name.”

John began volunteering, with his wife Helen, for the Terry Fox Run in Richmond in 1986. He enjoys seeing all the families that come out to celebrate Terry Fox and carry on his dream of a world without cancer. The Terry Fox Foundation became a bigger part of his philanthropic goals when Helen was diagnosed with a form of cancer that required research to find more treatment options. They were “quite taken with the low overhead” and appreciated the impact of the research projects the Foundation invests in.

After Helen passed away in 2012, and after surviving his own battles with cancer, John put serious consideration into where his money would be directed in his will. As a legacy donor, John is able to support the future of cancer research while also providing for his family. A planned gift can increase the inheritance to loved ones through tax benefits and teach family members the importance of philanthropy.

When making the decision to leave a gift in his will, John took the time to sit down with his family, let them know why it was important to him to leave money to a cause meaningful to him, and explain how he wanted it distributed. Talking with your family about what you want, philanthropic or not, and who you want to do it, may be a difficult conversation in the beginning but will be worth it in the long run.

A gift in your will is not the only Planned Giving option available. RRSPs and RRIFs, life insurance, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate are all potential donation opportunities. These vehicles each have their own benefits and restrictions so it’s best to set aside time to talk with your financial advisor to go over the best options for you. Make your legacy one that will help more people in the future and protect generations to come.

I just wish people would realize
that anything’s possible if you try;
dreams are made possible if you try.
– Terry Fox

Terry Fox Foundation