My wife has successfully
persuaded encouraged me to watch one of her favourite shows, The Amazing Race Canada. The last (and might have been the only) reality show that I remember watching loyally was the first Survivor season. I agreed to watching the first Amazing Race Canada because as my wife said, it’s very informative and even educational about the places, people, and culture in Canada.
True enough, from the latest episode that I saw, I learned about one of the inspirational people from Canada- Terry Fox. I researched and read about him after the episode and I learned how inspiring he really was:
Terry Fox (July 28, 1958 – June 28, 1981) was a student athlete: he was a long distance runner and basketball player in his high school and college days. At the age of 19, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and his right leg was amputated. This did not stop him from his passion in sports and he continued to run using an artificial leg. He even played wheelchair basketball in Vancouver and won three national championships!
His optimism, courage and determination to outrun and outplay his disability wasn’t the most inspiring. Three years after his surgery, he began a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research and called it the “Marathon of Hope.” He began his run from Newfoundland and hoped to raise $1 for each of Canada’s 24 million people for Cancer research when he finishes at Canada’s west coast at Vancouver, British Colombia. In his request for funding, he told the Canadian Cancer Society that he would finish the marathon even if he had to crawl every last mile. He was also quoted saying “I remember promising myself that, should I live, I would rise up to meet this new challenge [of fundraising for cancer research] face to face and prove myself worthy of life, something too many people take for granted.”
from $404.00 and up
His dream of raising money for cancer research was not really smooth. He met a lot of discouragements and road blocks along the way, and he had a hard time to get support from his mother and family. In spite of his disability and all the challenges, he was able to run a marathon everyday and even ran on his 22nd birthday (why not?). However, when reaching Thunder Bay, he was forced to stop his run as it was later found out that the cancer has spread to his lungs. He was able to run for 143 days and 5,373 kilometres, raising $1.7 million. Support still came in after his hospitalization and after a few more months, $23 million had been raised.
His condition worsened even after getting chemotherapy and he died after just a few more months. He was recognized and given high honours, and the Prime Minister back then said in one of his address Terry Fox: “It occurs very rarely in the life of a nation that the courageous spirit of one person unites all people in the celebration of his life and in the mourning of his death … We do not think of him as one who was defeated by misfortune but as one who inspired us with the example of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity”
Passion, selflessness, and valor are the virtues which pushed Terry Fox to outrun his disability for the good of others. He didn’t let his condition bring him down, and he kept going forward for the hope of reaching his dream for others. It started with a dream to reach out to people in spite of his disability. He believed that a miracle could happen and he could do it, and he did.
Yes he is inspiring for how he overcame his physical condition, but more so, it was his desire to help people and his selflessness for others that made him honourable and truly worthy of life.