By Tomi Fonja
Terminal illnesses have a way sniffing out hope and bringing in despair. There are people though, like Terry Fox, who despite their seemingly hopeless situation gave hope to others like himself. Fox was said to have courageously united the whole of Canada in the “celebration of his life and in the mourning of his death”. He wasn’t defeated by his misfortune. He rather inspired others with the triumphant spirit he showed even in the face of adversity.
Terry Fox was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his youth. While undergoing treatments, he noticed that very little donations from the masses went into cancer research. He thus, decided to run across Canada raising $1 per Canadian citizen. His mission was to create cancer awareness and support cancer research activities. One of his legs had been amputated and replaced with an artificial. His run would not be easy but he was determined. He had a small swelling in his left heart which could have deterred him from running but after some medical examinations he was declared qualified to run.
Fox ran. He ran for 143 days. He ran 5,373 kilometers and created the much needed awareness. At first, he didn’t meet with the welcome he expected. Though disappointed, he did not give up
. More Canadian citizens became aware of his quest and were moved to unitedly support it. The race had dire effects on his health which later led to his death as cancer spread to his lungs. But, he didn’t die without a legacy. He raised $1.7 million before his run was cut short and much more afterwards. One five-hour event held after this time raised $10.5 million.
The Ray of Hope he Supplied
Terry looked beyond himself. He wasn’t too focused on his limitations and that was why he was able to notice the needs of others like him and devise a way to help them. He did lose his life in the course of accomplishing that but he gave hope to others by supporting cancer research and showing the world that people with challenges can pursue a worthy course.
He was determined and audacious yet, compassionate and committed. It’s such good news that since his death, there has been a marked increase in survival rates for osteosarcoma. Young ones have an 80% survival rate and 70% for older ones.
Terry portrayed his disability in a positive light. He helped people with disabilities see that they can do the unbelievable. The $650 million raised since the initiation of Terry’s marathon of hope has really aided cancer research. It played a part in the advances made in the treatment of osteosarcoma. The whole of Canada saw Terry and continues to see him as a hero.
The Hope he gives You
The question is this, what is your story? What leaves you so much in the dark and has sapped every hope of you seeing the light? Terry could have lost hope, he could have given up but he did not. He did that so as to give you a reason to believe that there is a bright light at the end of the dark tunnel. So, look at your situation as an opportunity to make an impact on others. Do the extraordinary for a person with limitations. Looking beyond yourself, away from your own pain, helping others can give you more happiness than you could have ever imagined. After all, there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.
Terry Fox was born in 1958 and he died in 1981. It was a long time ago but he keeps inspiring people down to this day. His story encourages you to never give up. Have faith that your future will be better because after the rain, always comes the sunshine.
Tomi has been writing on different subjects for many years.