Few Canadian stories are as inspiring as that of Terry Fox. Today marks the 30th anniversary of Fox’s “Marathon of Hope,” an epic run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.
If you’re not familiar with Fox’s story, you should be. Here’s a quick summary:
As a teenager, Fox was diagnosed with cancer in his right knee. To stop the spread of the disease, doctors had to amputate his leg. After learning to walk, run and play sports using a prosthetic leg, Fox was determined to raise money to help find a cure for cancer. His goal: run across Canada and raise $1 for every Canadian. On April 12, 1980, Fox began his epic run in St. John’s Newfoundland. However, his run was cut short in Thunder Bay when Fox became too ill to continue. He passed away on June 28, 1981.
Fox left behind a legacy that has become an integral part of our Canadian heritage. This article in the Toronto Star, written by a reporter who covered Fox’s run at the time, outlines the many ways in which the young man’s journey has changed this country (The Terry Fox Foundation alone has raised a reported $450 million for cancer research).
Fox’s immense courage and determination also serves as inspiration for those suffering from any kind of illness. So today, as people gather in St. John’s to commemorate the Marathon and to await an announcement about a new eastern branch of The Terry Fox Research Institute, let’s take this day to remember one young man’s determination to find a cure’and how important it is for us all to keep running/walking/biking/downward-dogging to help raise money for cancer research.