Terry Fox Run

14th November '17

What is Terry Fox run and whom does it benefit?

Terry Fox Run is a non-competitive run held annually in different parts of the world. It is done in the memory of Canadian cancer activist Terry Fox. The purpose of the run is to raise awareness against cancer and drive donations for patients who cannot afford their treatment. The funds also go to institutes that are researching cheaper and safer treatments of cancer. The distance of run is between 5 to 15 kilometers and the focus is more on participation rather than completing the distance. Terry Fox Run is also arranged in several schools and colleges which are mini versions to the original ones. There are no corporate sponsors for the run and is solely done for the purpose of awareness and fundraising through participation. Terry Fox Run never had any advertisement or merchandise.

Who was Terry Fox?

Terrance Stanley Fox, most commonly known as Terry Fox, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Terry had 3 other siblings, one older brother, Fred, a younger sister, Judith, and a younger brother, Darrell. Since his childhood, he had a fascination for games that lasted for long periods of time. He was a self-preserved child who used to enjoy his own company. He used to set up a table hockey and frame a long and complicated schedule for the game season. He played for both of the teams, allowing himself 3 passes after which he used to switch sides and play for the other team. As a child he used to play with toy soldiers, too. he would roll up the carpets and make fortresses out of them and then he would arrange his armies of Indians and soldiers.

History of Terry Fox Run:

Terry Fox was enthusiastic about sports. He tried hard and worked for every game. In elementary school, he used to play basketball alongside his friend, Doug Alward. Terry, however, was not as good at the game as most players around him. So, his coach, Bob McGill, suggested to try out for cross-country running. Terry had no interest in running, but he started training to please his coach. He used to find the training sessions exhausting and demanding. Despite his failures, the boy kept practicing for football. Eventually, his coach suggested for him to try out for wrestling and so he did that as well with his full potential, and by grade ten, he earned a place as a guard. Going through all that, he learned that the key to success is mental toughness.

As a teenager, Terry used to participate in many different sports. By the time he was 18 years old in 1977, he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma or cancer of the bones. Cancer forced him to have his right leg cleaved fifteen centimeters, six inches above the knee. While staying in the hospital, he used to observe many cancer patients and was so affected by their pain and suffering that he decided to run across Canada in order to raise money for the cancer patients. He used to call it Marathon of Hope. He ran up to 5000 kilometers (3,107 miles) in 18 months. After that, he started running in St. John’s Newfoundland on 12th of April, 1980.

The cause and the struggle

In the beginning, it was difficult to gain the attention of the people, but soon the enthusiasm for his cause grew, and the amount of money started to mount. Terry ran up to 42 kilometers (26 miles) in a day all the way through the Atlantic provinces of Canada, Quebec, and Ontario. On 1st September, approximately after 143 days, when he ran up to 5,373 kilometers (3.339 miles), Terry was not allowed to run outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario because of his medical condition. His cancer had spread to his lungs. On 28th June 1981, Terry passed away, giving people to mesmerize his 22 years in this world. Terry Fox was dead but his legacy continued.

Terry Fox Today

The Terry Fox run is held every year in various regions of the world, reminiscing Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope. The event was founded in 1981. The idea was proposed to Terry, in the hospital, by Isadore Sharp. The idea was to arrange a run in Terry’s name for charity and the funds were to be used for the cancer research. The run has raised about $700 Million . The run is known to be informal, which means the distances of the run can vary, most commonly it varies from 5 kilometers to 15 kilometers. The runs are set up by different schools of every level, with shorter distances than the official ones. All the funds, raised, go to the Terry Fox Foundation, where the money is used for the Cancer research – to preserve Terry’s visions and principles.