Terry Fox has become the poster child of the person who can overcome any obstacle and triumph over any adversity that stands in his way. This is important to Canada because he is a reflection of the character of Canadians that is seen around the world. Terry Fox has given Canada a true role model. Terry Fox has shown the world that Canadians are full with heart and determination. He has shown Canadians, and the world that perseverance will pay off. Terry Fox had all the obstacles lined up and he knocked them down, although the malignant tumor in his right leg finally overwhelmed Terry, he still overcame numerous obstacles. Terry Fox had dealt with the tumor in his leg and he overcame the amputation of his leg. He also managed to train for the marathon of hope even though overcoming a physical and emotional amputation. He also was able to start his run for the marathon of Hope, by an valiant attempt to run across Canada raising money as he ran. Even though Terry Fox did not complete his goal he still lives on today in our currency, stamps, and many more ways. Terry Fox has given Canada some one that they can try to measure up to.
Terry Fox is a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, however he spent his child years in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. Terry was an athletic teenager, participated in various sports. Terry was only 18 years old when the doctors broke the news that he had bone cancer. Thus the doctors were compelled to have his right leg amputated 15 centimetres above the knee in 1977. However, Terry Fox over came is amputation with optimism and grace, he was determined to do something with his life. When Terry was recovering in the hospital he was so overwhelmed of all the suffering and bravery by the other cancer patients. He was also inspired by the children cancer patients bravery, that he knew that he too had to be brave. Furthermore prove that his life was worth doing something great with. In the spring of 1977 Terry begins his first steppingstone into showing the world what Canadians are all about. Terry was illuminated with a brilliant idea, a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer victims, “The Marathon of Hope” . Terry’s next step was to start training for this ambitious project. He had to teach himself how to run again, this was not as easy as it sounds. It took Terry a few months before he was able to sustain himself while running. However while Training Terry ran over 5,000 kilometers this pales compared to the distance of Canada coast to coast. Nonetheless Terry was still determined to attempt the run. By fall Terry was confident in his condition that he was ready to contact the Canadian Cancer Society for them to support his run. In his letter he writes, 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.”. Terry later received a letter of optimism and hope from the Canadian Cancer Society. The Canadian Cancer Society wished Terry the best of luck. At this time to Canada and to the rest of the world, Terry Fox did not exist. No one knew who he was. However, over time his voice would be herd, his name would be recognized, the sleeping giant was awakening.
Even though Terry had little media and public support when he first began his journey he was still determined to accomplish his personal goal to make it across Canada. He knew this would be the most significant and challenging obstacle that he would have to encounter. He trained hard though he knew he was ready to start. On April 12, 1980 he starts his odyssey in St. Johns, Newfoundland. He symbolizes this by dipping his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean. He then sets off to the promised land of his upbringing, British Columbia. Even though not too many people where aware of the significance of Terry’s efforts, for those who were, the cancer patients that he went through rehab with. Terry’s efforts meant the world to them, it gave them hope, optimism, it allowed them to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just by a simple act of running Terry was able to give those Canadians hope and a role model. Terry’s odyssey started in St. Johns, Newfoundland and he moves West passing Towns such as Charlottetown, PEI, Quebec City, QC, Montreal, QC, Toronto, ON, and Thunder Bay, ON. On his way through these towns more and more Canadians started to support his cause. When he passed through Quebec City Terry got support from Gerard Cote, four-time Boston Marathon winner, Terry was honoured by being introduced to him. Furthermore entering Montreal Terry was accompanied with Montreal Alouette kicker Don Sweet and four wheelchair athletes. As Terry ran through Toronto he was able to have the chance to meet his hockey hero, Darryl Sittler. Darryl awarded Terry his 1980 NHL all-star team sweater. Darryl said, “I’ve been around athletes a long time and I’ve never seen any with his courage and stamina.” A Canadian supporter commented, “He makes you believe in the human race again.” His popularity was snowballing, it grew and grew, more people were aware of what he was accomplishing. He was now spreading hope to the citizens of Canada. He was inspiring them not with his ability to run, but his ability to take on that unreachable dream and try to grasp it. Canadians where able to relate and be inspired by this because Terry’s goal is similar to David Vs. Goliath. Where Terry is the underdog taking on the what seems to be the unbeatable monster of cancer. The Canadians where cheering for the underdog, cheering for Terry to make it. However the more Terry was spreading hope and inspiration to Canadians, the more and more his cancer was spreading towards Terry’s lungs. On September 1, 1980, after a grueling 143 days and 5,373 kilometers Terry stopped running just outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The reality of the spreading cancer set in for Terry. Has he ran his last kilometers the people where unaware of Terry’s situation. During his last kilometer Terry was reported as saying, “”People were still lining the road saying to me, “Keep going, don’t give up, you can do it, you can make it, we’re all behind you.” Well, you don’t hear that and have it go in one ear and out the other, for me anyway There was a camera crew waiting at the three-quarter mile point to film me. I don’t think they even realized that they filmed my last mile people were still saying, ‘You can make it all the way, Terry’. I started to think about those comments in that mile, too. Yeah, I thought, this might be my last one.”” On the same day Terry announced at a press conference in Thunder Bay that his cross-Canada Marathon of Hope is short lived. Terry had simple but powerful words during that press conference. “When I started this Run, I said that if we all gave one dollar, we’d have $22 million for cancer research, and I don’t care, man, there’s no reason that isn’t possible. No reason.””. Its so simple, but its true. The next day on September 2, 1980, Isadore Sharp, Chairman and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, contacted Terry Fox’s family promising them that he would organize a fundraising run that would be held every year in Terry’s name. Terry’s dream was now coming to life, he was able to raise money, but most importantly cancer awareness. On September 9, 1980, C.T.V. network cancer awareness fundraiser. The telethon lasted five hours and was able to raise ten million dollars. This was a breakthrough for cancer awareness in Canada. The people were recognizing cancer as a major threat. They Canadians did something. It started with Terry’s Marathon of Hope, and was followed up by funding of Canadians. By February 1, 1981, Terry’s words of one dollar from every Canadian to fight cancer was herd. The Canadian population reached 24.1 million, and the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope total funds were 24.17 million. This was truly one of the finest moments of Canadian history. This moment was a time where Canadian athletes were in the media, and worlds eye. Terry Fox showed the world what character we Canadians have, it showed everyone our grit, determination, optimism, and hope.
Even though Terry Fox was unable to achieve his primary goal of running across Canada, he was still able to raise money and awareness for cancer research long after his death. He was also blessed with many awards and recognized through the world. Terry was able to accomplish cancer awareness, and he gave the Canadians hope, inspiration, and a true Canadian role model. On June 28, 1981 Terry Fox ultimately dies. Canada losses one of there National prides. They lost a Canadian hero. After treatment with chemotherapy and interferon, Terry Fox passes away at Royal Columbian Hospital, in New Westminster, British Columbia. He past just one month shy of his twenty-third birthday. On the 30th of July in 1981, The Canadian government creates a five million dollar fund in Terry’s name. The fund was given the name of Terry Fox Humanitarian Award, its goal was to provide scholarships each year in honour of Terry Fox. The award is given to students who demonstrates the highest qualities of citizenship and humanitarian service. Terry Fox’s efforts were being recognized even after his death, his ideals of hard work and determination were once again celebrated on August 29, 1981 when Terry Fox is inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. Thus proving that he was not only a great humanitarian but also one of Canada’s most prided athletes. Then on the first of July in 1998 the Terry Fox Monument was rededicated in Ottawa and is now part of the Path of Heroes. The Canadian government realized that it needed to add Terry to this because the Path of Heroes in an initiative to raise public awareness and appreciation of great Canadians that have helped shape the country. Terry Fox not only help shape the country but he also help shape Canada’s citizens shape into great people. Even after all that has happened on the behalf of Terry’s efforts in 1998 on the twenty eight of August the Terry Fox Foundation made an announcement declaring that the funds have reached a jaw dropping thirty six million dollars for Canadian cancer research. On June 30, 1999 a national pole for the greatest national hero Terry Fox is voted Canada’s Greatest Hero. Even though Terry Fox never made it across Canada, he was still able to touch the hearts of all Canadians. Terry Fox was such an incredible Canadian that he still lives on today not only in the awards that he received, but the Canadian government is honouring
Terry with a special remembrance Loonie, that features Terry running his Marathon of hope.