What we cover: “I just wish people would realize that anything’s possible if you try. Dreams are made possible if you try.” – Terry Fox
In March 1977, when Terry Fox was just 18 years old, doctors confirmed that what he had thought was a sore right knee on account of a previous injury, was in fact cancer. Six days later, Terry had his right leg amputated six inches above his knee. However, the night before the surgery, a coach showed him an article about the first above-the-knee amputee to run the New York City Marathon. A flame was lit and Terry was inspired. Not long after, as he was recovering – during his front row seat to the suffering of cancer patients in treatment – Terry hatched a plan. That plan, to traverse Canada – from the eastern tip to the western tip, by running a full marathon each and every day. So it was, on April 12, 1980, Terry dipped his leg into the Atlantic Ocean and began his journey. By the time he had run across Newfoundland, the goal was official: He would collect the equivalent of $1 from every Canadian, for a total of $22,000,000 in the fight against cancer. A few weeks into this never-before-been-done expedition, The Marathon of Hope, Terry had a welcome new team member join him, his younger brother, Darrell. The stuff of those days – those magical weeks and months – is today the stuff of Canadian and ultimately global legend: The smelly van, the occasional tensions, the miraculous momentum gained along the way – so that by the time Terry and his team arrived in Ontario, the cause and the visionary behind it, had become the nation’s single focus. I was 8-years-old when Terry wowed this country with the power of a dream. I was 8-years-old when I was visiting my Oma and Opa downtown Toronto, and the crowds of thousands were gathering just to catch a glimpse of this special person. And I was 8-years-old when on September 1 of that year, we learned that Terry’s cancer had spread and he’d have to stop running. However, what became clear in the days immediately after, was that the rest of the country had picked up Terry’s baton. Terry saw that we were absolutely not going to forget him and the realities of cancer any time soon. And I was 8-years-old, when I got the news, that on June 28, 1981 – Terry Fox died.
To sit across from Darrell Fox, Senior Advisor at the Terry Fox Research Institute, is to sit across from ego-less greatness. Terry’s siblings: Fred, Darrell, and Judi – as well as parents Rollie and Betty – have spearheaded a well-respected team in the form of The Terry Fox Foundation that continues to carry Terry’s flame, raising more than $750,000,000 dollars in doing so.