20 September 2009

Marathon of Hope: Terry Fox legacy

I believe the difference between ordinary people and legends is how each face life and death....especially the latter....ordinary people cant meet death in its eye, they collapse and plunge into an abyss of despair and pessimism (the 'why-did-this-happen-to-me-only' syndrome) while the legends stare at death in the eye and go on to do such deeds that they continue to live in the hearts and minds of generations that follow even after death takes them over.

To me, Terry Fox is a true legend, a true hero.

Imagine this: It is 1977, you are 18 and come to know that you have been diagnosed with terminally-ill bone cancer in your leg. Cancer research is relatively young and the doctor tells you that the only way to stop the cancer from spreading to other parts of your body is by amputating your leg and fixing you with an artificial prosthetic leg. Its bad enough to know that you have only some time left to live (especially when you are just a teenager) and to face disability in the little life left can be earth-shattering.

But not for Fox...what he did next was unbelievable! He trained himself with the prosthetic leg and began the Marathon of Hope in April 1980- he began by dipping his right leg in the Atlantic Ocean on the East coast of Canada...intending to dip it in the Pacific Ocean when he arrived on the West Coast!!!...He planned to run 42 km (26.2 miles) each day...day after day!!! and he wished that all the money raised along the way to be donated for cancer research...Can you imagine the strength , the stamina, the willpower and most importantly, the goodwill to start this Run??? Sadly, his run was cut short when, 143 days. after starting his quest, it was found that his cancer had metastasized to his lungs...in the meantime, he had run 5,373 km or 3,339 miles!!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

(Picture taken from here)

Fox died soon after at a tender age of 22..but his Marathon of Hope continues to inspire millions of people worldwide....every year, people raise funds for cancer research by participating in the Terry Fox Run...N and I were able to do our bit this year..we helped some some funds and then participated in the Run/Walk last Sunday (we did the 4 kms walk) and hope to go back again next year!

Terry Fox Run 2009, Burnaby

On 11 July 1980, Fox said 'I am not doing my run to become rich or famous. to me, being famous is not the idea of the run. The only important part is finding a cure for cancer. Don't forget that. I am no different that any of you-- I am no better, no worse. You are cheering and clapping for me but if you have given $1, then you are part of the Marathon of Hope. Even if I don't finish, we need others to continue. Its got to keep going without me'.

To me this is a true legend...he led by example..and he left behind a legacy for mankind (not for any country, not for any religion) but for hope...to me, he truly lives till this day!



Aadi said...

This was really a good insight on work done by Terry Fox. Thank you so much for the info. Truly amazing people...

nilesh said...

I agree, he was truly a Legend. Hope is a sign of life as rightly quoted by someone;
Hope is both the earliest and the most indispensable virtue inherent in the state of being alive. If life is to be sustained hope must remain, even where confidence is wounded, trust impaired.

Vinaya said...


I am glad you find this inspiring..I was too and I wanted to pass on the story of his spirit and courage to those who may not already know it.

wahwah..wahwah!!!tu mere saath rehte rehte seekh raha hai accha likhna!...jokes apart, very good thoughts!!

Sarita Khadye said...

Truly touchy and inspiring. can an ordinary person think like this at age of 18?? I agree with your word "Terry Fox is a true legend, a true hero." thanks for sharing.