We’ve all heard the story by now, but it’s no less impressive. 18 year old Terry Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer in his right knee, and had his leg amputated. After months of chemotherapy, where he witnessed other young cancer patients less fortunate than him, he was inspired to make a difference. In 1980, 22 year old Terry Fox set out on a near-impossible mission: to run across Canada in hopes of raising a million dollars. This meant running 26 miles - the equivalence of a marathon - every single day, with an amputated leg, until he had trekked across Canada. Terry persevered and managed to run a total of 3,339 miles over the course of 143 days. Unfortunately, he had to end his Marathon of Hope on September 1, 1980, as cancer had appeared in his lungs. His run was over, but we have been running for him ever since.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope. While COVID-19 is an obstacle, we won’t let it stop us from commemorating Terry and continuing his vision. We will still have a Terry Fox Run, but this year it will be virtual, taking place on Sunday, September 20th! Visit the Terry Fox Foundation website (https://terryfox.org/run/) and/or download the app register as a participant (as an individual, family, or virtual team) and start raising funds. On the day of the virtual Terry Fox Run, you can participate however you want (run, walk, bike etc.), from wherever you are, and track your run with the app.
Despite being a hero and a Canadian icon, Terry viewed himself as an average person, who simply wouldn’t quit. It was his determination that was his distinguishing quality, and he illustrated that we can overcome any limitations we may have. Terry Fox made us question our perceptions of people with disabilities, made us unlearn our notions of their limitations, and made us more aware of our own limitations. We too can inspire positive change, and it can start with something as simple as taking part in a run or raising awareness and money for a cause that we are passionate about. Terry Fox was hoping to raise $1 million during the Marathon of Hope; $750 million have been raised towards cancer research in his honour since then. 2020 has been a rough year for many of us, but we have an opportunity this weekend to make a difference, and honour a young man who inspired millions.