Terry Fox

In Canadian history there are many famous people. In my mind one really stands out among the rest. His name is Terry Fox and he is one of the greatest athlete to run on the face of this planet. Terry discovered he had cancer and then decided to run across Canada. He was a brave man who would take what the world through at him. Running across Canada was his way to show the world that he was not going out with out a fight.

Terry Fox was born in Winnipeg Manitoba on July 28 1958 Terry was raised in port Coquintlam, British Columbia. He was very athletic from a young age. When he was in grade eight Terry was rated nineteen out of nineteen on his basketball team. For that first season he was on the court for approximately one minute. This did not affect Terry and did not let it get to him, fore just two years later Terry was the starring player on his team. By the time he graduated he became one of two athletes to receive the schools highest athletic award.

Terry knew that aches and pains are common in athlete’s lives. At the end of his first year of university there was a new pain in his knee. One morning Terry woke up to see that he could no longer stand up. A week later Terry found out that it was not just an ache he had a malignant tumor; his leg would have to be cut off six inches above the knee. Terry’s doctor told him that he had a chance of living but the odds were fifty to seventy percent. He also said that he should be glad it happened now fore just 2 years ago the chance of living was fifteen percent. The night before his operation a former coach brought Terry a magazine featuring a man who ran a marathon after a similar operation. Terry didn’t want to do something small if he was going to do something he was going to do it big. “I am competitive” Terry said, “I’m a dreamer. I like challenges. I don’t give up. When I decided to do it, I knew it was going to be all out. There was no in between Terry’s sixteen month follow up he saw all the young people suffering and getting weak by the disease. He never forgot what he saw and felt burdened to thoughts that died to run this marathon. He was one of the lucky one in three people to survive in the cancer clinics. Terry wrote asking for sponsorship “ I could not leave knowing that these faces and feelings would still be here even though I would be set free of mine, somewhere the hurting must stop… and I was determined to take myself to the limit for these causes.” Terry got back into sports and joins a wheelchair basketball team. He took on his new challenge as he usually had. Terry made himself strong by pushing his wheel chair. He would push himself along the sea wall of Stanley Park in Vancouver or find a steep mountain of a log road and would go to his hands bled. Two years after Terry stated his training to run, so nobody could see him he ran his first half-mile in the dark. For fifteen months of training and after running 3159 miles his stump was raw and bleeding. Terry ran 101 days everyday he ran 23 miles a day and only stopped for Christmas because his mother asked him. Terry was always determined. One day when his artificial leg broke he hitchhiked home and fixed his leg and ran another 5 miles. He told his mother about his journey to run across Canada his mother told him he was crazy but when she told his father he simple asked “When?”

Terry received his sponsorship and on April 12 1980 he dipped his artificial leg in the Atlantic ocean of the coast of St. Johns Newfoundland, there he began to run the greatest Adventure of his life,

“I loved it,” Terry said. “ I enjoyed myself so much and that was what other people couldn’t realize. They thought I was going through a nightmare running all day long. People thought I was going through hell. Maybe I was partly, but still I was doing what I wanted and a dream was coming true and that, above everything else, made it all worthwhile to me. Even thought it was so difficult, there was not another thing in the world I would rather been doing. I got satisfaction out of doing things that were difficult. It was an incredible feeling. The pain was there, but the pain didn’t matter. But that’s all a lot of people could see; they couldn’t see the good that I was getting out of it myself.”

The people took on Terry’s dream and took him seriously they cried as they seen him run. His hands were clutched, eyes half opened and his double step of his real leg and the artificial leg. He had the look of courage. Every morning at dawn Terry would get up and put on his running shorts and t-shirt with the Canadian map on it. Terry’s begging goal was one million dollars, but he thought why couldn’t everybody just donate one dollar and raise twenty three million dollars. The money started to come from everywhere as Terry ran people would press one hundred dollar bills in to his hands. Through out this time, which Terry ran, he started to neglect his doctor appointments, and said that his cancer would not come back but it did. Doctors in Thunder Bay Confirmed that the cancer had come back hard and hit him in the lungs. During Terry’s test he decided to get a bite to eat with his mother, across the street from the hospital. Feeling weak Terry collapsed in the middle of the street. “Yesterday I could run twenty three miles and now I can’t cross the street.” Terry said. Terry’s mother cried as Terry spoke to the reporters “Well, you know, I had primarily cancer is in my lungs and I have to go home.” His voice broke as he spoke. But he continued “and have some more x-rays or maybe an operation that will involving opening my chest or more drugs I’ll do everything I can. I’m gonna do my best. I’ll fight. I promise I wont give up.” His father pleated with him to give up and take the rest of his life slowly. For ten months Terry battle with the disease left him in pain for most of the end of his life. Terry died with his family beside him on June 28, 1981 one month before his twenty third birthday.

Terry Fox in my opinion was a true Canadian hero He went to his limit to fulfill the dreams of all his friends that he made in the cancer clinics. He gave his life to those people and died for them. Terry is not a person that anybody will forget. He is and amazing person and a good role model for anybody to look up to. He has proven that he can take anything the world throws at him.