2013 Todd McGovern Legacy Grant recipient Chad Peacock’s Newfoundland journey to run the Terry Fox “Marathon of Hope”
If the brain tumor had its way, Chad Peacock wouldn’t have lived to see his 38th birthday. Months earlier, while on a trip to Hong Kong, Chad was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a highly invasive malignant brain tumor with a survival prognosis of 14 months even with aggressive treatment.
Following his initial brain surgery, Chad, a screenwriter with an adventurous spirit and a love of outdoor sports, would sneak past the nurses in the Hong Kong hospital to take scenic runs around Kowloon. He knew he wanted to test his endurance, despite surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment. During his treatment, Chad wrote often of the Canadian athlete and cancer activist Terry Fox’s cancer struggle. He started developing a screenplay about Fox’s journey and his own cancer battle. Chad hoped his script, with honesty and humor, would raise hope and inspire action to cure cancer.
My connection with Terry Fox is deep and very personal. I began writing about him near the beginning of my cancer journey, and I feel like he’s been with me every step of the way. I wanted to go to Newfoundland to see where he started, to pay my respects to him.
Chad could think of no more significant way to honor Terry Fox and enrich his own writing than to run in Terry Fox’s footsteps. After submitting his application for a patient grant, Chad and his Seas It representative discussed various grant ideas, but they continually circled back to a trip to St. Johns, Newfoundland. The cost and logistics seemed overwhelming though — airfares, hotel costs, a support crew, and roadside assistance were outside the domain of a typical Seas It patient grant.
Concurrently, however, Seas It was brainstorming the Todd McGovern Legacy Grantwhich would be larger in scope and funding than a traditional Seas It grant. This grant would be given annually to one recipient who exemplified Todd McGovern’s commitment to “seasing it” while also inspiring other cancer fighters to persevere and live a little each day. Although Seas It did not intend to award the Legacy Grant until 2014, Chad was the perfect candidate and became the first Todd McGovern Legacy Grant recipient in December 2013.
I’d been wanting and hoping to be able to go to Newfoundland since the very beginning, and it wasn’t until Seas It came along and magically suggested that it was possible that I really felt the strength to do it.
So, on Chad’s 38th birthday he woke up in Newfoundland and, without a bit of training aside from his usual weekly jogs, ran a one-man marathon in the freezing cold. He followed the first 26 miles of Terry Fox’s famous “Marathon of Hope” with Team Seas It beside him serving as his support crew.
Terry Fox is a constant source of inspiration for me. I have miraculously been able to get through two brain surgeries and a year of radiation and chemo in good enough shape to do something I have never done before.
The trip was remarkable for another reason – Chad finished his script while looking out of his hotel window, admiring Terry Fox’s statue on the waterfront.
My brain works well enough that I’m still able to write, and a huge part of me going up there was to finish writing something that I believe might be the best thing my brain will ever produce: a movie that cures cancer.
We congratulate Chad on two fantastic goals accomplished and are proud to have been part of his inspirational journey!
To apply or learn more about The Todd McGovern Legacy Grant and Seas It’s Patient/Caregiver grant, please visit Apply for a Grant.