NBA star Steve Nash, of the Phoenix Suns, was six years old when he would watch disabled athlete Terry Fox hobbled across the country on his artificial leg to raise money for cancer research.
Now, years later, Nash is shining a spotlight on his fellow Canadian, and adding documentary director to his resume as well … as he makes Fox the subject of his first film.
“Into the Wind” is Nash’s directional debut, and is set to air Tuesday (September 28), as part of the network’s “30 for 30” series. So far, it has already been shown at the Toronto International Film Festival and on Canadian television.
“I remember being a six-year-old boy and waking up every morning and rushing to the TV to see where Terry was that day,” Nash told ESPN. “To see him running or hobbling across our country for the spirit of community and looking out for others was something that has stuck with me ever since. To see his face hiding the pain and to hear his words disguising the sacrifice was as motivating and as educational an experience as I’ve ever had.”
At 21, Fox ran for 143 days, crossing two-thirds of the country on his Marathon of Hope … despite losing his right leg to cancer. He wasn’t able to complete the trip, because the cancer spread to his lungs, but his story was inspirational to all.
The event is the largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research in the world and has raised more than $500 million to date.
Fox died nine months later in June 1981, and is considered a Canadian hero. The “30 for 30” special will coincide with the 30th anniversary of Fox’s run.
The 51-minute documentary will include interviews with family and friends and television footage interspersed with narrated entries from Fox’s journals.
Nash co-directed the film with Ezra Holland, his cousin and business partner in their production company Meathawk.
“Hopefully this is the first of many,” Nash said of his directional aspirations.