VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Beach father Will Fox loves to run. But this time, his feet are hitting the pavement for a different reason.
His son, Dalton, died last year at the age of 12 after a battle with cancer.
“Dalton was the – I called him the toughest S-O-B I ever met," Fox joked. "Until his sister told him what S-O-B stood for!”
“He was the silliest, wittiest, most sarcastic guy you ever met,” he continued,
Doctors diagnosed Dalton with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare cancerous tumor. Fox said it was a disease that took his son’s left leg and then his life.
“Dalton got to a point where there were no more options," Fox said.
Today, Saturday February 19th, would have been Dalton’s 13th birthday.
In his honor, Fox is running 22 miles from the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, where doctors fought to save his son’s life, all the way to their family home in Virginia Beach.
“Dalton’s probably looking down on me, going: why are you running so far dad?" Fox said.
He’s also running to raise money to fight Childhood cancer. Fox asked the community and people across the country to donate $13 in honor of Dalton’s 13th birthday.
The family launched a non profit called “D-Feet Cancer – The Dalton Fox Foundation” to help raise awareness and funding for cancer research .
“Unfortunately, it’s too late to help my buddy. But we can help other kids," Fox said.
“It’s been heartwarming to see how many people Dalton’s story resonated with.”
The Fox family is taking life day by day and step by step. Fox said what will keep him going on his 22 mile run is knowing his son is still looking out for him.
“I might cry for the first one [mile], but I’ll keep going – just knowing Dalton’s looking down, shaking his head, chuckling at me, hopefully saying: Yes, dad! He was an awesome son, best son we could ever ask for and we miss him,” Fox said.
“It’s his birthday, so happy birthday, D.”
Fox said around 600 people donated money, and all the proceeds are going to cancer research.
For more information on the organization in Dalton's honor, visit dfeetcancer.org.