Run Terry Run!
Over 36 years ago, Terry Fox, a Winnipeg born 21-year-old attempted an unimaginable feat. A natural athlete, he had lost his right leg to osteosarcoma (cancer of the bone); instead of giving up on life, he decided to fight back. His goal was to raise $1 per Canadian for Cancer research.
Inspired by Dick Traum, the first person to complete a marathon with a prosthetic leg, he was determined to run a marathon a day until he crossed Canada. Soon his dream took on reality and was dubbed the Marathon of Hope. The nation was inspired by his determination; cheering him on and writing songs of encouragement like “Run Terry Run.” But on Sept 1st, 1980 his Marathon of Hope came to an abrupt halt just outside Thunder Bay, Ontario, when his cancer spread to his lungs. After running 143 consecutive marathons without taking a break, skipping even his birthday, his quest had ended.
At 22 years of age, on June 19, 1981 Terry Fox died just as he reached his goal of raising $1 per every Canadian ($24.1 million).
On Sep 18th of each year, Canadians take on the Marathon of Hope challenge and run in his honour. The annual Terry Fox Run started in 1981 and has spread to 60 countries worldwide and is the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research.
This year my 5 year old niece, Leighton, is one of thousands of school children from over 9000 Canadian communities who are raising cancer research awareness by participating in a 5 km run. As a person who has survived Melanoma as age 24, I am extremely proud of Leighton for taking on the challenge and I will be donating my latest book sales to her run. I hope her efforts will inspire you all to donate to cancer research this Sunday, 18 Sept.
Donate to Leighton here.
So Run Leighton Run!