You often hear the saying 'One man can change the world'...and yet how many of us believe that? Well this young man did! Its been 27 years since Terry Fox made history with his amazing Marathon of Hope.....In just a few short months...he impacted the world....and for many of us - our lives would never be the same.
Even now when I think back.....for a young man to hear the worst news imaginable, and to take that travesty and have the strength, courage and commitment to take that and change the world? Amazing!
Terry Fox was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and raised in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, a community near Vancouver on Canada's west coast. When he was only 18, Terry was diagnosed with bone cancer and forced to have his right leg amputated 15 centimetres (six inches) above the knee in 1977.
The story goes, that while in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided he wanted to, needed to.........make a difference in the lives of these young children. He decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. His goal was to raise $1 from each Canadian citizen.
Although I never knew Terry, we both graduated at the same time, from high schools only miles apart.....watching, hearing, reading about Terry.....was a life changing event for so many of us........
After 18 months and running over 5,000 kilometres (3,107 miles) to prepare, Terry began his journey on April 12, 1980, by dipping his leg in the Atlantic Ocean at St. John's, Newfoundaland. He intended to dip it in the Pacific Ocean when he arrived in Victoria, British Columbia. I still can't imagine...what it would be to have a dream so big, unconceivable!
Terry started his run with little fanfare. Although it was difficult to garner attention in the beginning, enthusiasm soon grew, and the money collected along his route began to mount. He ran 42 kilometres (26 miles - the distance run in a typical marathon) a day through Canada's Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario.
However, on September 1st, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles), Terry was forced to stop running outside of Thunder Bay. At that point Terry had run 5,373 km (3,339 miles, or around 23.3 miles per day) through Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunshwick, Quebec and Ontario. The sad new was that his bone cancer had metastasized to his lungs: x-rays revealed that Terry's right lung had a lump the size of a golf ball an his left lung had another lump the size of a lemon.
In June 1981, Terry developed pneumonia, and on June 27 he went into a coma. He died on the 28th at 4:37 a.m., which was his favorite hour of running, a year after his legendary run, and exactly one month shy of his twenty-third birthday.
Terry's large funeral was broadcast live on national tv. He is buried in the Port Coquitlam cemetery, near his favorite lookout just outside the cemetery gates. An entire nation was stunned and saddened.
Rod Stewart wrote and recorded this song in honor of Terry.....
Never Give up on a Dream
There's a scripture in the Bible...in Genesis (50:20 NIV) "You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result." Sometimes circumstances which we have no control over - can completely change the trajectory of our lives...AND yet we still have a choice. Even with the most tragic of events, news, prognosis.......we can use 'what was meant for evil'....and turn it into a blessing.
Few of us will ever be or even know the likes of Terry Fox. But each one of us...in our own world, with our own particular blessings and curses can live a life that 'makes a difference'....Terry was living proof...and a testament to a miracle working God. He was a Hero and an Inspiration.
To Donate a pledge online: https://www.terryfoxrun.org/english/donations/donate/default.asp?s=1
*The Terry Fox Foundation strives to maintain the heroic efforts and integrity that Terry himself embodied. It is a grassroots organization that does not seek government funding for administration or fundraising costs other than small grants for temporary, part-time help. The Foundation must therefore rely heavily on the generosity of the private sector to support its activities
* To date, more than $400 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry's name through the annual Terry Fox Run, held across Canada and around the world.
* In a public opinion poll, Terry Fox was voted the most famous Canadian of the 20th century. He was voted number two on The Greatest Canadian list.
"It occurs very rarely in the life of a nation that the courageous spirit of one person Unites all people in the celebration of his life and in the mourning of his death."...Pierre Elliot Trudeau
And you can check this site out... http://www.thankyourdonor.ca
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