and the Marathon of Hope
Terrance Stanley Fox
In 1980, Terry decided to represent thousands of cancer patients and raise awareness for the disease and money for cancer research. Not only did he bring hope to patients, he also united a nation.
Terrance Stanley Fox also known as Terry Fox was born on July 28th 1958 and passed away on June 28th 1981 at the age of 22. As a child Terry was quite athletic, he participated in various sports and in high school he began distance running and continued to participate in basketball. Unfortunately, at the age of 18 he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma, bone cancer. Most of his right leg had to be amputated, but luckily, survival rate was at 50% because of cancer research. After the surgery he healed quite quickly and thrived to live a meaningful life. He began to participate in wheelchair basketball, and even won 3 national championships. Unfortunately, at the hospital Terry saw patients that weren’t as lucky as him, patients that “had given up smiling” he felt the “feelings of hopeful denial, and the feelings of despair”. Terry felt that he had to do something for them, he was determined to do whatever it takes to help them not only win the battle against cancer but also live as if it never put them down. So he decided to run across Canada to raise hope for cancer patients, spread awareness of the disease, and raise money for cancer research. He decided to embark on the marathon of hope.
The Marathon of Hope
Terry’s marathon of hope began on April 12th 1980 in St. John, Newfoundland with a goal of raising 1 dollar from every Canadian, hoping to raise a total of 24.1 million dollars. At first there was minimal attention towards Terry and his cause, but by the time he reached Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, he was welcomed by the town’s 10,000 residence with 10,000 dollars. By June 22nd, a third of the way to his destination, he collected a total of 200,000 dollars in donations and lots of support from Canadians. Throughout his trek across Canada he continued to gain support and money for research. He became a national hero, but unfortunately on September 1st 1980 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Terry was forced to stop after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres of his marathon because Terry’s primary cancer has spread to his lungs. The whole nation was saddened and stunned and were hoping for a miracle, but sadly Terry passed away 9 months later. Luckily, Terry’s dream was able to come true before his death. On February 1st 1981 Terry exceeded his goal, and raised 24.17 million dollars towards cancer research. Today, a total of 650 million dollars have been raised in the name of Terry Fox for cancer research.
Throughout the run
Throughout the marathon of hope, Terry has done everything he can to make sure this campaign would be successful. He tried his hardiest to raise as much attention as he can, and participate in any functions that may benefit his cause. Everyday terry ran approximately 42 kilometres, equivalent to a full marathon, on the streets through ice storms and summer heat. He was very dedicated to make sure he spent as much time as he can on the streets to raise as much attention as he can. He also participated in various events to promote his cause. Terry was very determined to help cancer patients as much as he can, not only because this allows Terry to do something meaningful in his life time but it also allows Canada to be part of a meaningful movement and cancer patients to end the suffering, and beat the cancer.
As a Leader
Throughout Terry’s Marathon of Hope, he showed various positive leadership traits. He never forgot about what he was fighting for, and he never forgot to make others believe in miracles. To be known as a hero brings pride to oneself, but Terry never let that feeling overcome the reason why he began the marathon of hope. He never forgot about the patients that suffered and died at the hospital and how he wanted to raise money for cancer research so the patients have better survival rate. This was proven when terry had to end his marathon. He did not think about how he may have disappointed Canadians, instead he thought about how more money could be raised. Since Canada would be able to see the effects of cancer, and how it can take down a determined athlete, their hero.
Another leadership trait that terry showed was that he always tried his best to make others believe miracles can happen, how an amputee can run a full marathon, from coast to coast, how cancer patients can also live a magnificent life. Running for long distances caused Terry to suffer from shin splints, bruises, blisters, an inflamed knee, and even develop a cyst on his stump and tendonitis. All these problems lead to intense pain, but no one ever noticed, he never let anyone notice. How he was perceived effects how cancer patients feel, because he stayed strong no matter what, sends a message that cancer patients too can stay strong and not only beat the diseases, but conquer it, as if it never disabled them.
In the End
On September 1st 1980, Terry was forced to finish the race but he didn’t allow that to have a negative effect on his cause. The day after Terry was forced to finish, Terry stated that “even though I’m not running anymore, we still have to try and find a cure for cancer. Other people should go on and do their own thing now”. He didn’t allow the end of his marathon be the end of raising money for cancer research, neither did Sharp. During the marathon of hope Terry was able to catch the attention of Isadore Sharp, the founder of Four Season’s Hotel, and the father of a child that lost their life to melanoma, skin cancer. Sharp was fascinated by what Terry was doing so he decided to help him along the way.
And on that same day, September 1st 1980, Isadore sharp told Terry "You started it.” and how “We will not rest until your dream to find a cure for cancer is realized". So on September 13th 1981 Sharp decided to continue Terry’s legacy and begin the first Terry Fox Run. Today, the Terry Fox Run is the world’s largest one day fundraiser for cancer research. It has raised a total of 650 million dollars which have contributed to increasing the cure rate of limb sparing and limb constructive surgery to 80% in young patients and 70% in older ones. Even though Terry’s Marathon of Hope ended he and Sharp both didn’t allow his movement to end and it would not end until they find a cure.
Terry fox began the marathon of hope for the thousands of cancer patients in Canada to raise money for cancer research and hope. But after 4 months of intense running his body wasn’t able to continue. But by then Terry was able to raise millions of dollars for cancer research. He not only Inspired cancer patients to never give up and never let the diseases put them down , but he also brought together millions of people, from more than 60 countries to be part of his run, to complete his dream, to find a cure for cancer. Terry fox not only brought hope, he also united a nation, united a world.
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