Sunday, September 16, 2007

Terry Fox

Before I even thought of making medicine a career -- before I even was a teenager -- I remember seeing this movie about a guy - an amputee -- try to run across Canada -- for cancer research. "What's cancer?" I asked my parents.

They gave me some kind of explanation which I could not understand. What I did know is that "the cancer" caused this guy to lose his leg. I still remember this story, even today.

According to this article from CTV, the 27th annual Terry Fox Run was today in Toronto. I didn't know this, but his foundation has raised over $400 million worldwide for cancer research. Here is some background information, if you're not familiar with this story.
Fox set out on his Marathon of Hope in St. John's on April 12, 1980, to raise awareness for amputee capability and cancer funds. Born in Winnipeg and raised in Port Coquitlam, B.C., he was first diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 18.

Three years before he started his run, Fox's right leg was amputated 15 centimetres above the knee, in an attempt to stop the disease from spreading throughout his body. He ran 42 kilometres a day through the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec and Ontario; the equivalent of a full marathon everyday.

After 143 days on Canadian roads, Fox was forced to stop running near Thunder Bay, Ont., because the cancer had reached his lungs. He passed away in June of 1981 at the age of 22.
Even as a child, I didn't understand why someone so young had to pass away from an illness. The youtube video above tells a little more of the inspiring, yet tragic story of this Canadian hero.


twilite said...

Hi Dr A! Thanks for sharing and reminding...shall enter to view this from time to time. Cheerio!

SuperStenoGirl said...

Terry Fox was an inspiration to us. Every year throughout elementary school and high school until about grade 11, we were expected to complete a "Terry Fox Run". In the small town I lived in it meant running around the lake (takes about 45 minutes) and when you got to high school it involved running up to the lake (about 20 minutes) then around the lake and back.

I have family in Thunder Bay and I've visited the memorial (which the city has since had to move due to senseless vandalism) and I've seen (and walked) along parts of the roads that Terry ran along. His spirit is just amazing.

The most tragic thing however is that if Terry were suffering from the same cancer today, he would have been cured and he probably wouldn't have lost his leg.

I have another small tie to Terry but for certain reasons, I won't share exactly what it is only that I am honored by it almost on a daily basis.