Sunday, November 7, 2010
The Terry Fox Story
Terry Fox was 18 years old when he contracted cancer.
The disease started at his right knee and the doctors had to immediately amputate his leg in order to save his life.
This traumatic event was the moment of truth for Terry. Terry found out that the survival rate for cancer patients was very low and the only way to fight it was to find cures through cancer research. Instead of wallowing in self pity and despair, Terry heard his calling. Seeing other patients succumbed to the disease, Terry felt he had to do something for future cancer patients. He was convinced that his calling was to help raise funds for cancer research in order to fight this terrible disease.
From this point, Terry embarked on his Hero’s Journey.
Terry was not particularly athletic but he decided to raise public awareness for cancer research by running across Canada from coast to coast. Terry planned to start his ultra marathon in St. John’s, Newfoundland on the Atlantic coast and finish 8,000 kilometres later in Victoria, British Columbia on the Pacific coast. He would cover the vast distance by painfully hopping and stepping his way through one marathon a day – with an artificial leg! Terry hoped his ordeal would raise $1 each from Canada’s 24 million people. He managed to raise more than $23 million.
On 12 April 1980, Terry dipped his artificial right leg in the Atlantic Ocean and headed west to the Pacific on his Marathon of Hope.
On 1 September 1980, 143 days since he started and 5,373 kilometres into his run, Terry was forced to stop by severe chest pains. He was admitted to hospital and the next day, he tearfully announced that the cancer had spread to his lungs. He vowed to complete his cross country epic but his condition quickly worsened and he died on 28 Jun 1981.
Terry’s inspiring story tells us that any ordinary person can do so much when one finds and is consumed by a worthy purpose.
Terry said: “You don’t have to do what I did – wait until you lose a leg or get some awful disease – before you can take the time to find out what you are made of. Start now.”
We have much more time than Terry had to do something to make a difference.
What will you do to make a difference in others' lives?