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Lifesavers

Terry Fox

by Doug from Mississauga

A hero - a person in everyday society who is challenged to be the best they can be. They are normal people until they make a choice, a choice that makes the world a better place. Terry Fox was one of those heroes.

Terry Fox led a normal life in his early years. He was born in the late 50's in Winnipeg, Manitoba. At an early age, like many other children, he showed a great interest in sports. Years passed and his interest in sports did not falter. At age 18 he was a key member of his high school's basketball team.

One day while playing basketball, Terry developed a knee pain. Concerned he took a trip to the doctor and was quickly diagnosed with bone cancer. A few days later his leg was amputated 15 cm above the knee to prevent the cancer from spreading to the rest of his body. While lying in the hospital after his operation, he was appalled at the suffering of his fellow patients, many of them young children. He decided to do something about it. He came up with a plan, a plan to run across Canada for cancer research.

As soon as Terry was out of the hospital, his training began. He was fitted with an artificial leg made from fibreglass and steel. Then the running began. He ran 5000 km over 18 months in training alone. He decided on a name for his run: “The Marathon of Hope.” He was physically prepared, but more importantly, mentally prepared. He knew that the odds were against him. But Terry Fox possessed one key characteristic. Determination. Many cancer survivors have this characteristic but to survive cancer and then to attempt to run across Canada on one leg took an amount of determination unheard of.

Five provinces, 143 days and 5373 km later Terry suffered a tremendous blow. His cancer that was thought to be gone had returned this time attacking his legs. Just outside of Thunder Bay on September 1st Terry was forced to stop his quest. Terry was quoted as saying, “Dreams are made if only people try, I believe in miracles because somewhere the suffering has to stop.” On June 28th, 1981 Terry Fox passed away. He was 22.

Even after Terry’s death his legacy continued. Terry’s goal of $1 for every Canadian has been reached and passed, almost 340 million dollars for cancer research in Terry Fox’s name. He has received many awards including: • Most outstanding athletic achievement • The American Cancer Society’s highest award • He was the youngest person to receive the Order of Canada • And was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame

Terry Fox was a normal person but he possessed determination, hope, and, above all else, faith. He was challenged and he succeeded. He will be remembered for future generation as the man who never gave up.

Page created on 11/3/2004 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 11/3/2004 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

The Terry Fox Foundation
CBC Archives - Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope