Terry Fox was a Canadian humanitarian, athlete, and cancer treatment activist. He became famous for the Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research, which Fox ran with one prosthetic leg.
In 1977, after feeling pain in his right knee, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. This is a form of cancer that strikes men more than women, usually around ages ten to twenty-five. Very often the cancer starts at the knee, then works its way up into the muscles and tendons. At the time, the only way to treat his condition was to amputate his right leg several inches above the knee.
He is considered one of Canada’s greatest heroes of the 20th century and is celebrated internationally every September as people participate in the Terry Fox Run, the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research.
His original plan was to run the equivalent of a marathon a day and travel across Canada from coast to coast. Unfortunately, he was unable to finish his run. His bone cancer had metastasized to his lungs: x-rays revealed that Terry’s right lung had a lump the size of a golf ball and his left lung had another lump the size of a lemon.
He was forced to stop the run on September 1, 1980 just north-east of Thunder Bay, Ontario, after 143 days. He had run 5,373 km (3,339 miles, or around 23.3 miles per day) through Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario.
In June 1981, Terry developed pneumonia, and on June 27 he went into a coma. He died on the 28th at 4:37 a.m., which was his favourite hour of running, a year after his legendary run, and exactly one month shy of his twenty-third birthday.
Terry’s large funeral was broadcast live on national television. He is buried in the Port Coquitlam cemetery, near his favourite lookout just outside the cemetery gates.
On 18th July 2008, Guinness World Records ™ officially confirmed that Terry Fox had set the record for the greatest amount raised by a charity walk or run is $24.7 million Canadian dollars, which is approximately £9.1 million pounds.
This is a record I want to beat! Terry Fox was an incredible young man, who achieved so much despite so much being against him. His life was tragically cut short – imagine what he could have done had he beaten the cancer? So my wanting to beat this record is with the utmost respect for Terry’s memory (and his family), its just that I want to raise the most amount I possibly can for a great cause.
PS – Bio from wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Fox)