Terry Fox is a name millions of Canadians know well and Terry wasn’t even a hockey player – he was a runner – and he ran for miles and miles and miles – all with a prosthesis on his amputated leg.
At the age of 18 Terry was diagnosed with bone cancer in his right knee and lost his right leg to cancer in 1977 but determined to live life with a purpose even after his amputation and the debilitating effects of chemotherapy.
In 1979 Terry began training on his artificial leg for what he called his Marathon of Hope. He planned to run all the way across Canada. His journey began on April 12, 1980 when he dipped his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean at St. John’s, Newfoundland and started to run. And run he did; an average of 26 miles per day through six of the ten Canadian provinces.
After 143 days and 3,339 miles Terry was forced to stop running because his primary cancer had spread to his lungs. Before leaving Thunder Bay, Ontario where his run was interrupted to return to British Columbia for treatment, Terry said, “I’m gonna do my very best. I’ll fight. I promise I won’t give up.”
Sadly, Terry’s running career was over, but the impact of his life had just begun. Terry had had inspired a nation.
On September 2, 1980, only one day after Fox’s run ended, Isadore Sharp, Chairman and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts sent a telegram to the Fox family with a commitment to organize a fundraising run that would be held every year in Terry’s name. He wrote, “You started it. We will not rest until your dream to find a cure for cancer is realized.”
One month short of his twenty-third birthday Terry Fox died but his hope of raising $1 from every Canadian to fight cancer was realized; Canada’s population is 24.1 million and the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope fund totaled $24.17 million at the time of his death.
Now, every year, millions of people in over 20 countries participate in The National School Run Day, The Terry Fox Run, and Terry fox fund raising events. In 2014 the Marathon of Hope announced that over $650 million had been raised to support cancer research in Terry’s name.
Where did Terry Fox get the power to persevere? It came from his commitment to make his life mean something even in the midst of pain and distress. It came from his divinely infused destiny.
Terry said this, “I don’t feel that this is unfair. That’s the thing about cancer. I’m not the only one, it happens all the time to people. I’m not special. This just intensifies what I did. It gives it more meaning.”
Like Terry Fox, God has placed within you a dream, an idea, a desire that will give your life meaning and it enable you to persevere when the going gets tough. What dream has God infused into your heart? Discover it, declare it then develop it. Your Infinite Source, the God who gave you your dream will provide you with the perseverance power to see it come to pass.
©2015 Ronald D. Ross
- 5.0: Perseverance Power – Overview
- 5.3: A Purposeful Life Creates Perseverance Power