Terry Fox – Hero


Terry Fox

When a teenager gets cancer and then loses a leg at age 20, you might forgive him for giving up on any big dreams. But Canadian Terry Fox refused to give up. In fact, he started dreaming bigger than ever.

Terry was determined to raise money for cancer research to help other young people. So, he decided to do something no-one had ever done before — to run some five thousand miles across Canada, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, on one real and one artificial leg.

Terry prepared for 18 months running over 5000 kilometers (3,107 miles).
He set out quietly on April 12, 1980, dipping his artificial leg in the waters of Newfoundland. Starting that day, and every day that followed, he ran 25 miles. Through rain and shine, despite pain and exhaustion, from early morning darkness to long after sunset, he ran the equivalent of a marathon every day.

By halfway through his run, Terry had captured the hearts of his nation. Huge crowds appeared by the sides of lonely highways to cheer him on. He visited the notorious Kingston Penitentiary and the hardened inmates wept at his courage and determination.

Terry never finished his heroic run. His cancer spread to his lungs and he was forced to quit on September 1, 1980 near Thunder Bay, Ontario after running for 143 days and 5,373 kilometers (3,339 miles).

Terry’s goal was to raise $1 dollar for every Canadian to fund cancer research, a total of $24 Million. When Terry had to quit his raise a groundswell of support from across Canada inspired by Terry’s courage continued the fundraising efforts and by February 1, 1981 Terry’s Marathon of Hope had raised the $24 Million.

Terry got to see his dream realized, but on June 28, 1981, at the age of 22, Terry Fox died of the disease he had battled so hard.

Terry inspired new dreams, new commitment, to follow his example and continue to raise money for cancer research through Terry Fox Runs. In 1988 the Terry Fox Foundation was established to coordinate and manage Terry’s legacy. To date, Spring 2011, close to $500 Million has been raised for cancer research and over 5,000 locations in Canada plan a Terry Fox Run this September.

Terry Fox is remembered by Canadians as their greatest hero of all time, and the best example of courage in action.


This is a excerpt from my forthcoming book, Inspiration to Live Your MAGIC!™ to be published in January 2012. A collection of 75 biographical introductions that inspire. © Copyright 2011, LIAP Media Corp.

LIAP Media Corp. the publisher of the Live Your MAGIC!™ series of books is a social enterprise. Part of the Larry & Janet Anderson Philanthropies.

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