I don't remember everything about Sept.1st, 1980, but I remember crying.
I was 8 years old and a big part of my daily routine was sitting in front of a MASSIVE wood (yup, like REAL wood) paneled television that had all of the aesthetic presence of a Buick station wagon. It was a place where I got a look at my heroes. Astroboy and the Drac Pac. The Lone Ranger and Tarzan Adventure Hour. The Super Friends - and Terry Fox.
Like most of Canada I was glued to his Journey, even if I didn't fully understand it. Starting off in St John's, N.L., Terry spent EVERY day running almost 42 kilometers for over 4 months raising money, and awareness, for Cancer research. My Mom made a point to explain as much as she could about Terrys Journey, and I believed he was a Super Hero.
Then on Sept.1st, around kilometre 5,373, his Cancer spread to his lungs, and he took his last step on the Marathon of Hope. It rocked me to my core, largely because I'd never seen one of my Heroes falter before. Terry died in hospital the following summer. He was only 22.
Yesterday Google marked the anniversary of the first Marathon of Hope held in Terrys honor Sept. 13, 1981 at 760 sites across Canada. Every year since Runners the Globe over have taken up the challenge Tery lay down. This year on Sept. 20, a Virtual Run will be held, learn more HERE will be held across Canada. Participants will collect pledges and then embark on their own non-competitive run or walk in their community. Nearly 14,000 runners have already raised over $2 million for this year’s event.
Terry’s original goal was to raise $1 for every Canadian -- $24.17 million -- he did that just 4 months before his death from fundraising events held on his behalf. In the years since over $800 million has been raised to support cancer research in his name.