Today marks 25 years since Terry fox began his Marathon of Hope. He was a young Canadian who in a very short span of time, found out that he had cancer and had his leg amputated 6 inches above the knee. Terry experienced much pain as a result of this and was dismayed at the lack of awareness regarding cancer. Quietly, he decided to run what was to be called "The Marathon of Hope", with one 'good' leg and one prosthetic leg. It was the realization of his goal to run all the way across Canada to both spread awareness and raise money for cancer research. His goal at the start was to raise one dollar for every Canadian. With the population of Canada at that time, it translated into 24 million dollars. His goal was realized, reaching 24.16 million before the time of his death, the following year, when cancer had spread into his lungs.
Terry did not complete his run - just as with the initial discovery of cancer, the second discovery required immediate attention. However, he is now a household name in Canada, having run 5, 373 Km over 143 days, continuously. He averaged nearly a full marathon (42.2Km, 26.1m) per day. Since his death on June 18, 1981, the Terry fox foundation has raised over 350 million dollars for cancer research, with less that 3% going to administration costs. All over Canada, every year, there is a 'Terry Fox run', wherein people raise money for the Terry Fox foundation and run a small 'fun run' with no prizes or winners to acknowledge what an amazing thing this single person did.
Terry fox was only one man, 22 years old, recovering from cancer, with a prosthetic leg that caused taking much time to learn to walk again. He ran every day what only a few people can run a few times per year. He put himself through grueling pain in order to help others. It is said that every time his 'good' leg hit the ground, he felt tremendous pain. He is an amazing example of what individuals can do, if they only try. He accomplished an immense amount, inspired many people, and is a clear hero. I hope that we can all respect what he has done, and see it as an inspiration for what we can do, all on our own, if we just try.
That's the thing about cancer. I'm not the only one, it happens all the time to people. I'm not special. This just intensifies what I did. It gives it more meaning. It'll inspire more people. I just wish people would realize that anything's possible if you try. When I started this run, I said that if we all gave one dollar, we'd have 24 million for cancer research, and I don't care, man, there's no reason that isn't possible. No reason.
You can read more about him here: