Terry Fox. One man. One vision. A nation united.
“I’m not a dreamer, and I’m not saying this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to.”
An image of Terry running flashes in my mind. Then a series of emotions and words. Hero. Cancer. Runner. Inspiration. Compassion. Warmth. Tragedy. And then that smile – one that melts your heart. The first inkling of tears start to well up in my eyes. One young man, 33 years ago – his story still affects me. A story of a young man, who had a vision. A vision to make a difference. And then it was born – The Marathon of Hope. On April 12, 1980, Terry Fox dipped his prosthetic foot into the Atlantic Ocean and started his journey to run across our nation. A marathon a day, roughly, to raise awareness and funds for cancer.
And then a year ago, I met Eddy. Another man, who had a vision, but it was a vision that was inspired by Terry Fox. Eddy was training for his first marathon in Montreal when Terry made his journey through Quebec. Quebec, unfortunately, did not receive Terry with open arms. Terry’s journey, however, did not go unnoticed by Eddy. For over 30 years, Eddy has been raising funds and awareness for the Terry Fox Foundation in his role as a Day Caretaker at a grade school in Montreal.
In 2010, the 30th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope, Eddy, sought to have April 12th be recognized as Terry Fox Day. He went to great lengths and eventually, unable to have it pass through the government channels, he chose to take his efforts to the streets and run a marathon in Montreal carrying the Terry Fox Flag. The following year, Eddy was diagnosed with cancer and was unable to run again. Last year, with his cancer in remission, Eddy decided to do more than just run. Terry Fox is a national hero and deserved a national movement. His vision was realized in 2012, with a runner in every province and territory running a marathon on April 12th, bearing his flag.
“Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me.”
This Friday, April 12th, I will set out on a journey to pay tribute to Terry Fox, alongside my fellow runners across the country who share Eddy’s vision to recognize this special day. Join us on this journey, and, run or not, take a moment to remember Terry Fox and educate others on the significance of one man’s vision to make a difference.
Want to join me on April 12th? Find more information here. For those that are not on Facebook, here are the quick details:
Scheduled Stops where I’ll be tweeting, taking photos, and more than likely taking a quick break!
(Landmark – location – distance – estimated arrival time – twitter handle):
- Terry Fox Statues – Beatty / Robson – 0 miles – 9:00am (@terryfoxbcyukon)
- Distance Runwear – Main / 32nd – 3 miles – 9:30am (@distancerunwear)
- City Hall – Cambie / 12th Ave – 5 miles – 9:50am (@VanMayorsOffice)
- Rackets & Runners – Oak / 23rd – 6.5 miles – 10:15am (@Rackets_Runners)
- lululemon Oakridge – Cambie / 41st – 8.3 miles – 10:30am (@lululemon)
- Run Inn – 41st / Yew – 10.1 miles – 10:50am (@TheRunInnStores)
- Running Room – Alma / 4th – 13.8 miles – 11:30am (@RunningRoom)
- Forerunners – 4th / Collingwood – 14 miles – 11:35am (@ForerunnersVan)
- Ladysport – 4th / Collingwood – 14 miles – 11:40am (@LadySportStore)
- lululemon West 4th – 4th / Arbutus – 15.25 miles – 11:55am (@lululemon)
- The Right Shoe – 4th / Fir – 15.75 miles – 12:00pm (@rightshoevan)
- lululemon SSC – Cornwall / Cypress – 17.1 miles – 12:20pm (@lululemon)
- Harry Jerome Statue – Stanley Park Seawall – 23.5 miles – 1:20pm
- Running Room Denman – Denman / Georgia – 24.75 miles – 1:35pm (@RunningRoom)
- lululemon Robson – Robson / Bute – 25.5 miles – 1:45pm (@lululemon)
- Terry Fox Statues – Beatty / Robson – 26.2 miles – 2:00pm (@terryfoxbcyukon)
Note: All images were provided care of the Terry Fox Foundation.