I first heard about Terry Fox about six years ago, and ever since then have viewed running differently. It’s not something I have to do if I want to stay in shape, have a beer with dinner, or take another shot at a 10k PR. It’s something I get to do.
Terry Fox was born in the late 50s in Canada. When he was 18, he was diagnosed with cancer and his right leg was amputated above the knee. Fox decided not to let this stop him – instead he decided that he wanted to use his experience to raise money for cancer research.
Thus began the “Marathon of Hope,” a cross-Canadian run during which Fox ran 3,339 miles across six provinces. His cancer returned, but his devotion inspired many to donate to cancer research and before his death in 1981, nearly $25 million had been raised.
To this day, the Terry Fox Foundation continues his Marathon, having raised more than $700 million for cancer research. Thousands of runners lace up in his name each year, and his story continues to resonate with runners like me, who have been personally touched by cancer and want to see it beaten once and for all.
If you have been looking for a reminder of the way running can change lives, you can’t do much better than reading The Terry Fox Story or watching ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary on Fox, “Into the Wind,” which is available on Amazon Prime.