October 15, 1979
My name is Terry Fox. I am 21 years old, and I am an amputee. I lost my right leg two-and-a-half years ago due to cancer. The night before my amputation, my former basketball coach brought me a magazine with an article on an amputee who ran in the New York Marathon. It was then I decided to meet this new challenge head on and not only overcome my disability, but conquer it in such a way that I could never look back and say it disabled me.
But I soon realized that that would only be half my quest, for as I went through the 16 months of the physically and emotionally draining ordeal of chemotherapy, I was rudely awakened by the feelings that surrounded and coursed through the cancer clinic. There were faces with the brave smiles, and the ones who had given up smiling. There were feelings of hopeful denial, and the feelings of despair.
My quest would not be a selfish one. I could not leave knowing these faces and feelings would still exist, even though I would be set free from mine. Somewhere the hurting must stop....and I was determined to take myself to the limit for this cause.
From the beginning the going was extremely difficult, and I was facing chronic ailments foreign to runners with two legs in addition to the common physical strains felt by all dedicated athletes.
But these problems are now behind me, as I have either out-persisted or learned to deal with them. I feel strong not only physically, but more important, emotionally. Soon I will be adding one full mile a week, and coupled with weight training I have been doing, by next April I will be ready to achieve something that for me was once only a distant dream reserved for the world of miracles – to run across Canada to raise money for the fight against cancer.
The running I can do, even if I have to crawl every last mile.
We need your help. The people in cancer clinics all over the world need people who believe in miracles.
I am not a dreamer, and I am not saying that this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer. But I believe in miracles. I have to.
It was on this day, in 1980, that Terrence "Terry" Stanley Fox, a Canadian athlete and cancer research activist began his Marathon of Hope. He has, since, become an icon of superhuman stature! His marathon raised $1.7 million and his legacy continues to evoke deep emotions.
Today, close to 30 years after his death, Redefining Oblivion salutes this herculean idol and celebrates his lasting legacy that has benefited several thousands of people in their arduous fight against cancer, by giving them what they needed above all else in life, that element being hope!
The contents of this post is a letter written by Terry Fox to the Canadian Cancer Society informing them of his endeavour.