This is the story about Terry Fox, his cancer, his amputation, and his unbounded determination to run across Canada on one leg!
Terry Fox was born n July 28, 1958 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. . An active teenager involved in many sports, Terry was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) and forced to have his right leg amputated 15 centimetres (six inches) above the knee in 1977.
While in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. In fact he decided he would run a full Marathon (42km, 26miles) a day on his artificial leg, trying to raise $1 for each of Canada’s 24 million people.
He would call his journey the Marathon of Hope.
After 18 months and running over 5,000 kilometres (3,107 miles) to prepare, Terry started his run in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980 with little fanfare when Fox dipped his right leg in the Atlantic Ocean near St. John’s, Newfoundland, and filled two large bottles with ocean water. He intended to keep one as a souvenir and pour the other into the Pacific Ocean upon completing his journey at Victoria, British Columbia.
Although it was difficult to garner attention in the beginning, enthusiasm soon grew, and the money collected along his route began to mount. He ran close to 42 kilometres (26 miles) a day through Canada’s Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario. It was far from a breeze as Fox frequently suffered shin splints, an inflamed knee and he developed cysts on his stump and experienced dizzy spells. On September 1st, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles), Terry was forced to stop running outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario because cancer had appeared in his lungs. An entire nation was stunned and saddened. Terry passed away on June 28, 1981 at the age 22. Just a couple of days before his death his money raising efforts surpassed the $24 million mark!!
The heroic Canadian was gone, but his legacy was just beginning.
His kickass story has been chronicled in multiple ways:
A super impressive documentary Into The Wind about this incredible man
Definitely worth a closer look for inspiration and a true lesson about determination!