Monday, April 12, 2010

Terry Fox +30

On this day thirty years ago, Terry Fox started his now famous run. His plan was to run across Canada, starting on the East Coast by dipping his foot into the Atlantic Ocean, to raise money for cancer research. What made this run unusual was that fact that Terry had one artificial leg.

As most of us who around at that time can recall, he never made it to British Columbia to dip his foot into the Pacific. After running for 143 days, completing approximately 40 km per day - which is like running the Boston Marathon every day for 143 days, can you imagine? heck no!! - Terry was forced to stop in Thunder Bay, Ontario when the cancer that had caused him to lose his leg spread into his lungs.

By that time, he had raised $1.7 million and everyone knew who he was. Donations continued to be collected and a year after he had started his run, over $23 million had been raised in his name. (Sadly, he passed away two months later.) To date, that amount totals over $500 million and continues to grow.

As CTV News reported online: "Today, it's clear that Fox's legacy lives on. His name adorns more than a dozen schools across the country, more than 30 streets, one icebreaker, and a provincial park in the B.C. Rockies. There are also a number of cancer research facilities and research grants that honour his name, as well as the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award, which recognizes young Canadians whose humanitarian work reflects the ideals that Fox embodied.
People from 40 different countries run in his name every year and the Terry Fox Foundation is constantly funding research for new cures for cancer."

I saw Bon Jovi in a commercial yesterday, asking "what are you doing to change the world?" For Terry, this would have been an easy question to answer. I'm sure he would be proud to know that 30 years later, we still remember him and carry on his quest. We should all be so lucky to leave such a legacy.

If you'd like to make a donation to the Terry Fox Foundation, click here:

(Many thanks to the unidentified photographer who took this image of Terry that I got off the Internet.)

1 comment:

Heather said...

He was an incredible human being...

My first date with Andy was to see the Terry Fox movie.....his Mum had to drive us there and she sat a few rows ahead of us!