“I believe in dreams. I have to” – Terry Fox (1958-1981) All "italicized quotes" that follow are also Terry's.
These are the words of a hero, and what would inspire “The Marathon of Hope”.
Early in the morning of Monday, July 14, 1980, I sat on the south of Lakeshore Blvd at the base of Walkers Line in Burlington, Ontario.
In full view was an image now indelibly cast in my memory of this determined young man running in a double-step and skip style suited for his prosthetic leg, on his way from Oakville to Hamilton.
All of a sudden I was completely overcome by uncontrollable emotions that I had never quite experienced before. I was only one of a few who were there to offer support to Terry Fox as he came by, and after I feebly roused a “Go Terry” he waved over to me; that’s when I totally lost it.
I was a member of the Canada Jaycees and while fundraising we had been having a heck of a time trying to get the word out about the Terry Fox run for cancer.
As it happens we didn’t have to worry because Terry’s visuals, and especially his sound bites, were finally being seen and heard by Canadians. This remarkable young man’s dream was discovered and stirred a nation, creating a new found sense and level of Canadian pride
Three years ago I remember sharing my personal accounts with a fellow Realtor and friend, Barrie Seaton, an exceptional man himself. For the 2007 Terry Fox campaign Barrie was busy collecting pledges after volunteering to get his head shaved in the Great Canadian Head Shave in Terry’s hometown of Port Coquitlam.
I offered to shave Barrie’s head but he declined. Instead Barrie shared his own wonderful and emotional story of seeing Terry, a month after I had, on the Trans-Canada Highway between Sault Ste. Marie and Wawa as he was at that time running beyond the halfway point of the planned country-wide run.
After he'd run close to a marathon a day for 143 days, little did we know of Terry’s ordeal, or that he would have to stop running a few weeks later after more than 3330 miles.
“Even if I don't finish, we need others to continue. It's got to keep going without me.”
On Labour Day in 1980 the run came to an end but the Marathon of Hope has continued ever since.
“I'm not a dreamer, and I'm not saying this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to.”
He would have been 52 on July 28 this year, and although Terry isn’t with us the miracle he believed in is.
“If you’ve given a dollar, you are part of the Marathon of Hope.”
The Annual Terry Fox Run in Canada is usually hosted on the second Sunday after Labour Day, the month chosen by Terry to reflect when he had to stop running and when Canadians had to start. Outside Canada, the Run is organized on a date that is convenient for the Organizers.
In Port Coquitlam, the Terry Fox Hometown Run will kick off at 8am with registration at Hyde Creek Recreation Complex, 1379 Laurier, with the run following at 10am.
Registration: 8am - 10am, Run Start: 10am, Event Close: 1pm
“Dreams are made possible if you try”.
10km, 6km, 2km; Suitable for bicycles, wheelchairs/strollers and rollerblades; Dogs on leash welcome.
Please contact Terry Fox Run at 1-888-836-9786 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org