A Dream As Big
As Our Country
Anything’s possible if you try.
Terry’s personal experience and research led him to a simple conclusion – more money was needed for cancer research. And so, in the modest but motivated style that would prove to be his trademark, Terry started training and planning for his cross-Canada run to raise funds for cancer research. He dipped his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean on April 12th, 1980 and proceeded to unite Canadians in a way never before, nor since, seen. The only thing that could have stopped Terry from reaching the Pacific Ocean did. Cancer returned in his lungs and he was forced to stop on September 1st, 1980 after having run 5,373 kilometres.
Eighteen-year-old Terry Fox of Port Coquitlam, BC never saw himself as remarkable. Granted, he displayed an unusual determination to achieve the goals he set for himself but his orbit was local – family, school, sports and friends. But Terry’s cancer diagnosis of osteogenic sarcoma just above the knee, the subsequent amputation of his leg and experience in the children’s cancer wards changed all that. A newly nurtured reservoir of compassion, combined with a fierce determination to bring an end to the suffering cancer causes, set Terry on a path that, quite simply, changed the world.
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Before his death on June 28, 1981, Terry had achieved his once unimaginable goal of $1 from every Canadian. More importantly, he had set in motion the framework for an event, The Terry Fox Run, that would ignite cancer research in Canada, raising more than $850 million since 1980, and bring hope and health to millions of Canadians.