Monday, April 12, 2010

A legacy of hope inspired by one young man 30 yrs ago...

I was only in middle school when this young man's legacy began. I just recently learned about this inspiring young man who despite the tragic loss of his right leg, changed the lives of many and that of a country. He wasn't a politician nor a teacher, but he was an 18 yr old man with determination, courage and hope.  Here is the story of Terry Fox from Canada who's legacy of hope inspires millions worldwide and continues to help others today:

After months of intensive training, Fox began his journey on April 12th, 1980, in St. John's, Newfoundland. He received little recognition at first. When he initially approached the Canadian Cancer Society with the idea, for instance, it doubted that he could raise his goal of $1 million. But once the marathon was underway, Fox was quick to capture the attention of the nation and donations poured in. He ran, on average, 40km a day, the equivalent of a regular marathon. This was an astounding feat for any athlete, but a sheer miracle for a runner with just one good leg.

Fox persevered through pain, fatigue, and harsh weather in pursuit of his goal. He ran for 143 days and covered 5,342km before his odyssey came to an abrupt stop in Thunder Bay, Ontario, on September 2, 1980. Cancer had spread to his lungs, and he was forced to fly back to B.C. for treatment.

Despite an iron will and a nagging determination to finish the Marathon of Hope, Fox succumbed to the disease on June 28, 1981, at the age of 22. The young runner had so touched the hearts of Canadians that a national day of mourning was declared on the day of his death.

Though he never made it all the way to the Pacific coast, Fox's efforts were not in vain. His marathon raised $23.5 million for cancer research, encouraged hope in those touched by the disease, and inspired awe in everyone who heard the story. Annual marathons in his name are now held across Canada and around the globe, and to date over $400 million has been raised worldwide.

Learn more about Terry here

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