Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Terry Fox and the Marathon of Hope

Terry Fox was a remarkable young man from British Colombia, Canada.  He was known as a humanitarian, an athlete, and a national hero.  Even now, thirty-one years after his death, we still honor his legacy.
 
Terry was a long distance runner and basketball player in high school as well as college and generally well liked.  In 1977, Terry (who was only nineteen) was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, causing his leg to be amputated in hopes of stopping the spread of Cancer.  Terry continued to run using an artificial leg and played wheelchair basketball, helping his team win three national championships.
The Marathon of Hope was born in 1980 when Terry decided to run across Canada to raise money for Cancer research.  Terry’s goal was to raise one dollar for each of Canada’s twenty-four million people.  He began his journey from St. John’s, Newfoundland in April running the equivalent of a marathon each day.
By the time Terry had reached Ontario, he had made numerous public appearances with various public figures and was a national star for his accomplishments.  Unfortunately the Cancer Terry battled during his run had spread to his lungs by the time he reached Thunder Bay, Ontario.  Terry’s hopes, along with the Country’s, of his overcoming the disease and completing his run, ended when Terry died nine months later (June 28, 1981).

September of 1981 was the first Terry Fox Run.  This run is held annually to honor our national hero.  Many communities and schools across Canada conduct a run or walk to continue Terry’s work in raising funds for Cancer research.  The Terry Fox Run has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries.  It is now the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for Cancer research. 
Though this blog post will have missed the community runs on September 16th, it is not too late to join or sponsor a school run on September 27th.  There is no entry fee and no minimum donation.  Go to http://terryfox.org to find a way to help out.  Remember, Terry only hoped for one dollar from each person… is one dollar too much to ask?  Together, in Terry’s name, we will find a cure.

Take Care, D

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