Terrance Stanley, or popularly known as Terry Fox CC OD was a Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist. In 1980, with one leg having been amputated, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Salute to this stunning personality giving his all for such a great cause.
How it all Started?
In 1976, an 18-year-old Canadian boy was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors said his leg had to be amputated. Even then, he had a 50% survival chance. His name was Terry Fox.
One night before his cancer surgery, Terry read an article about a man with one leg who had completed the New York marathon. He got inspired and made a plan to run across the whole of Canada – yes you read it right!! – The entire country on his one leg.
He wanted to raise awareness and money for cancer research.
Young Terry told his mother about his plan, and she objected. Later Terry told her – “I thought you’d be one of the first persons to believe in me“. His mother felt she had let him down, later she came forward in full support of her son’s audacious dream.
Making of a legend : Terry Fox
His goal of running the length of Canada was equivalent to 200 marathons – one marathon everyday. He sent a letter to Adidas, hoping that they would donate 26 pairs of shoes for his run.
Adidas obliged. The Orion which Adidas gave Terry are prized collector’s items now, and a pair is also displayed at Canadian Museum of History.
Start of a Journey that will inspire millions
When Terry started on his journey, few people knew what he was doing.
But as he ran a marathon (42 kilometres) each day, people and the media started to talk about the young man with the prosthetic leg running across Canada.
Terry’s popularity grew….
Till the whole nation was closely following Terry and his historic run. People sent him donations and letters of support. Such was his popularity that any letter simply addressed “Terry Fox, Canada” would reach him.
Terry Fox : Hero of Canada
After 143 marathons in 143 days, Terry Fox experienced intense chest pain. The cancer had spread to his lungs. He had to abandon the race after covering more than 5000 kilometers.
Terry fell into a coma and died on June 28, 1981 at the age of 22.
Terry had raised $23 million for the Canadian Cancer Society till he died. The Citizen reported that Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope was “one of the most powerful outpourings of emotion and generosity in Canada’s history”
Terry died, but his legacy continues. ”Terry Fox Runs” have grown to more than 4,000 venues in 56 nations. The Terry Fox Run is the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research, and over $600 million has been raised in his name.
Terry Fox was voted the ‘second greatest Canadian of all time in any field’ in a 2004 nationwide poll.
He is a hero to Canadians, and you can find him on coins, passports and public squares.
We salute this legend. His perseverance and dedication is extra-ordinary. He was not just a runner but a superhuman