What keeps me inspired to organize the Terry Fox run?
It all started during my teaching career, when every September I would tell my students the story of this courageous young man who believed ‘anything is possible if you try.’
After seeing the suffering of young children in the hospital, he decided he would raise awareness that cancer research was needed.
Terry Fox set out running a marathon a day for 143 days on one leg. He turned his misfortune into a dream as big as our country.
There is something magical about the Terry Fox Run, and it doesn’t matter how young or old you are. Every September people all over Canada gather to work toward making one young man’s dream come true . . . a world without cancer.
Terry passed the torch to us, and when I found out an organizer was needed in 2007 in our Niagara-on-the-Lake community, I knew that this event was worth keeping alive. A few of my very close friends and family members have suffered and lost their lives to this dreaded disease. The Terry Fox Run is a way to raise money for cancer research. It is also about hope, determination and inspiration. It’s about remembering those we lost, supporting those who still fight and honouring those who won the fight.
The outpouring of support in the NOTL community is another reason I continue to be inspired. We are a small community with a big heart, which is evident when the many businesses here are willing to donate anything they can to make this event a success. Service groups are always on board in their special way to raise funds for cancer research. The NOTL-Lewiston Rotary Club, the NOTL Kinsmen and the NOTL Royal Canadian Legion have donated to this worthwhile cause.
I truly see the spirit and generosity in the many volunteers, the kindness of the town, and the meaningful articles in the local papers.
Meeting Fred Fox, Terry’s brother, and Shawn Ashmore, the actor who played Terry Fox in the movie Terry and came to NOTL to participate in the run, was truly a memorable time.
The NOTL community has so many admirable people I have met, and it makes it a pleasure to keep the Marathon of Hope alive. Our hometown comedian, Joe Pillitteri, who continues to show his passion and desire to believe in the cause and raise much needed funds, is encouragement enough to keep me inspired.
Terry Fox is the voice of courage in all of us. He is our Canadian hero who is embraced by the whole world. I can’t help but think of Terry in 1980 . . . he had 0 posts, 0 shares, 0 likes, but millions of followers. You can be one of the millions of Canadians today who participate in the Terry Fox Run on Sept. 19, 2021.
The power of one man to make a difference is undeniable. How could I not be inspired when I see all the efforts of this community, and the impact research has had on our cancer survivors. In the words of Terry Fox, “It has to keep going without me.”
Terry’s example teaches us how to survive and overcome obstacles while remaining positive. Forty-one years later, his Marathon of Hope is alive and strong and still gaining momentum. He taught us that together we can outrun cancer. He makes us proud to be Canadian and me committed to volunteering for the Terry Fox foundation.
Thank you Terry Fox for being an example to me. Your humbleness, self-sacrifice and courage benefit all human beings. You inspire me with your actions and words: “The answer is to help others.”
I hope to continue to keep Terry’s dream alive in Niagara-on-the-Lake.