“Hope is the physician of each misery”. Irish Proverb
The world faces pain each day.Some give in, but there are some who bear it, for others.Terry Fox is one such man of hope, whose hope blooms everyday, in the hearts of thousands, helping them stand and fight, never give up – not untill they achieve greatness, not till they soar high above, and till they achieve solitude and escape from pain!I feel so proud to share his story of ever-living hope, because for me the name “Terry Fox” means “DREAM” and “HOPE”.
Photo of Terry Fox during "Marathon of hope" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles”. Alex Karras
“Disease is somatic; the suffering from it, psychic”. Martin H. Fischer
Terry Fox was born on 28th july 1958 in Canada.He lost a leg to osteosarcoma when he was 18.He woke up one day with a dull pain in a knee, and thought it could be an ordinary pain as he was an athlete and a basketball player in high school, and was awarded athelete of the year’s title the year he graduated.A visit to the hospital confirmed it as a malignant tumor, and that his leg needed to be amputated after four days.Being an athlete and a beacon of hope, a night before his operation dreamed to run across Canada.
“I’m a dreamer. I like challenges. I don’t give up. When I decided to do it, I knew I was going to go all out. There was no in-between.” Terry Fox
During the year following his amputation, he was treated for cnacer in a cancer clinic, where he saw cancer patients, debilitated, agonizing pains, strong young people hanging in between hope and hopelessness.
“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 those causes.” Terry Fox
After being cured and left cancer clinic, he joined a wheelchair basketball team and practiced running with an artificial leg.He rigorously worked towards making a dream come true, he trained for almost a year, running till his stump bled, until his artificial leg broke to two pieces, but there was nothing stopping him.
“It’s not what they take away from you that counts – it’s what you do with what you have left”. Hubert Humphrey
The Canadian Cancer Society was skeptical about his sucess when he approached them for support, but he proved them wrong by earning sponsors, leaving them no choice but to promote his marathon and support him.
On April 12th, 1980, he embarked on a journey of hope, called “A Marathon Of Hope” whose purpose was to gather 1 dollar each from everyone of the 24 million people of Canada, his dream had already come true!He ran through Canada, but infact he ran through the hearts and minds of people, stirring them to donate, to raise their spirits, never lose hope and never stop persuing dreams, to never consider disability as something which ceases your ability to dream and hope.He was pursuing to achieve something for everyone!
“Some see a hopeless end, while others see an endless hope”. Author Unknown
The people shed tears seeing him, on their disability to hope and follow their dreams, and his ability to live his dream.He made the disabled able of believing in themselves and making the impossible possible.He was a torch bearer, and soon many started following the light he was spreading all around.Every city he ran through, he was joined by many, cheer leading him, bucking up his aspirations, looking at him with hopeful eyes.Eyes which had lost all the shine, voices which were raised only in pain, were now with him, for him and for his goals.
“We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails”. Author Unknown
People gave more than he expected, more than a dollar!According to the Terry Fox Foundation website, a musician, out of money, gave him his 500$ worth guitar. He was courage, vigor, hope.People waited for him to pass so that they could donate and encourage him.
“If you’re going through hell, keep going”. Winston Churchill
He was running 18 miles away from Thunder Bay, he saw many people infront of him on both sides of the road, which suddenly started to seem a little long.He felt pain in his lungs and although coughing stopped the pain was there.People were calling out to him, making comments on his determination:
“I started to think about those comments. I thought this might be my last mile.” Terry Fox
Sadly, it was the last mile he ran.He died at the age of 22 on June 28th, 1981 – the year i was born.Cancer had spread to his lungs from his leg.
“Even if i don’t finish, we need others to continue.It’s got to keep going”. Terry Fox
Terry Fox memorial at mile 0 of his cross-Canada run, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In my childhood, i remembered looking at his pictures and seeing him on tv, but as a child i couldn’t make up what he did.I saw a man limping, but could never realize he aided a limping humanity to stand up on its feet again.Later, i had this urge to know about him, because even as a child, i knew he was being brave and doing something great.When i knew about his strength, his conviction and dedication towards eliminating the pain of others, in making them strong and worthy to fight, in making them forget about their ailments and disabilties, and in doing so forgetting hand hiding his own pain, i could only he inspired by him, and i will always be!
Today, i feel honored to induct him in my ‘?The Compassionate’s Hall of Fame’.He deserves so much more, like the dreams he dreamth and achieved also, should be dreamed by all, hope that he hoped flourishes in us and by us, the strength we observed in him makes us strong.
So many years after his death, cancer stil prevails,killing many others.We need another marathon of hope now, to end it forever.To find its cure we can use his courage and steadfastness to keep us going, we can carry his smile to hide our pains, we need to believe in the purity of this goal as much as he did, we need to forget our shortcomings and hindrances just like he proved it.He will always be the landmark on the pathway of overcoming pain, disability and weakness.
“The greatest mistake in the treatment of diseases is that there are physicians for the body and physicians for the soul, although the two cannot be separated”. Plato
The disabled inspite of being inducted and accepted in our societies, are still fighting it out.
“I was slightly brain damaged at birth, and I want people like me to see that they shouldn’t let a disability get in the way. I want to raise awareness – I want to turn my disability into ability”. Susan Boyle
We have sports teams for them, we see them doing everything nowadays that an ordinary man can attempt, but our mindsets make fun of them, pity them, STILL consider them a little less ordinary.They are not invalids any more but our minds still find them a little DIFFERENT and we still haven’t learnt to accept the difference.
“The only disability in life is a bad attitude”. Scott Hamilton
“I am a little deaf, a little blind, a little impotent, and on top of this are two or three abominable infirmities, but nothing destroys my hope”. Voltaire
Statue of marathon runner Terry Fox overlooking Thunder Bay and the Trans-Canada Highway. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Terry’s life and his efforts are nothing but hope for all the hopeless in the world.Everyday we forget that God still loves us, He gives us life every next day of our lives, he gives us breaths and heartbeats, He showers his blessings upon us, we are blessed with food without even asking , every child born in this world means HOPE, every flower that buds showers HOPE, everytime the sun rises, it proves that the creator wants us to hope, and endeavour everything!
“Hope is the word which God has written on the brow of every man”. Victor Hugo
Make it a point today to vow never to loose hope, no matter how tough and trying are the times, no matter how rough the roads and no matter how hard the circumstances are, because the Creator loves us therefore blessed us with life, not to live in despair, but to believe in HIM and grow hopes in the hearts of others, just like Terry Fox.
Terry’s hope is relived every year.The Terry Fox Foundation organizes TERRY FOX RUN AROUND THE WORLD in which all donations collected goes towards Terry’s cause of curing cancer and finding cancer cure.It’s is the world’s greatest one day fundraiser for cancer.The Foundation is donated almost 20 million dollar every year for cancer research in Canada, through Terry Fox Research Institute.Do visit them online and donate here.You can also follow them on Facebook here.
You rock Terry! You will live forever, in the hopes of thousands around the globe!
Resouces:Official site of The Terry Fox Foundation and the Wikipedia
Rod Stewart Tribute to Terry Fox – “Never Give Up on a Dream”: