30 years later - the miracle that is Terry Fox

I grew up in the decade that began with the inspiring journey of Terry Fox. I knew about him, but not firsthand. Well, now I work in the community Terry grew up in - Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada. This coming Sunday marks the 30th anniversary of Terry’s run, and posters and banners decorate Port Coquitlam and much of the lower mainland inviting all to re-live his marathon of hope. But the Terry Fox Run is more than an annual gathering to remember a hero. It’s a living legacy.

Despair and hope. Pain and perseverance. Joy and struggle. Life lost and life gained. Terry’s story illustrates the tensions of life in our beautiful yet hurting world.

Now involved in Terry’s home community, I have a growing interest in his story. Scanning a series of his quotes, I was struck by Terry's perseverance in the face of pain and unknowns. He commented,

If I ran to a doctor every time I got a little cyst or abrasion I’d still be in Nova Scotia. Or else I’d never have started. I’ve seen people in so much pain. The little bit of pain I’m going through is nothing. They can’t shut it off, and I can’t shut down every time I feel a little sore.

It’s this never-give-up motto that inspired and continues to inspire so many in their fight against cancer and life’s many other challenges. And such perseverance, for Terry, wasn’t a lonely journey:

When I ran through that tiny little Sparks Street Mall, the road was so narrow, yet people were running behind me and all these other people were lined up, clapping for me. It was quite a long way down the road where all the people were and I was just sprinting. I was floating through the air and I didn’t even feel a thing. I felt so great. That type of memory you can never take away.

Terry’s story inspires me to share my life with others. Change in a hurting world usually only happens when we join together in our common experiences of struggle and triumph. When it came to Cancer, this was Terry’s vision:

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.

And while we may never find a cure for cancer, the legacy of Terry Fox may just be the miracle itself, in the fight against cancer no doubt, but also in the inspiration gained by all who follow his journey in one way or another.

In the trailer (see below) of the deeply personal account of Terry’s run, Into the Wind, there is a quote that sums up his story well: “Terry Fox - a symbol for all of us.”

May the legacy... No, may the miracle live on!

To watch and listen to the Terry Fox story, watch this account from ESPN marking the 25th anniversary of his run:


Post a Comment