Saturday 15 August 2020

Terry Fox – Marathon of Hope (Canada, 1982)

Terry Fox was a Canadian basketball player at high school and university level. In 1977, at the age of 19, he had to have his right leg amputated as a consequence of osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Whilst undergoing chemotherapy and treatment, he hatched a plan to become a runner.

It wasn’t just any plan. With a new artificial leg, and a bit of training, he set out in 1980 to run east to west across Canada, aiming to fundraise and run a marathon each day to cover the 8000km (5000 miles) distance. He kept running through pain, shin splints, tendonitis, dizzy spells and sheer exhaustion, but started to suffer with his breathing. Doctors discovered that his cancer had re-emerged and spread to his lungs and he was forced to stop his run.

Terry Fox ran more than 5300 km (3300miles) over 143 days. His run and subsequent telethons raised more than C$25m and subsequent events in his name have raised more than C$750m. He underwent further treatment for cancer but it was unsuccessful and he died at the age of 22 in June 1981.

Never thought I’d have my heart broken by a stamp.

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