The Legacy of Terry Fox

Anything’s possible if you try”

Terry Fox

Simon Fraser University Campus was quiet today, but there was already a feeling of celebration. Spring convocation will be held in the coming days. The Simon Fraser University bagpipe band will lead the Class of 2022 procession to Convocation Mall, an open air auditorium.

I found myself standing at the statue of Terry Fox, which I have photographed many times over the years. Terry Fox has inspired many graduating classes with his words, “Anything’s possible if you try.”

The statue of Terry Fox is positioned where the procession of students, “capped and gowned”, will walk by on their way to Convocation Mall.

Eighteen-year-old Terry Fox of Port Coquitlam, was given a cancer diagnosis of osteogenic sarcoma just above the knee. His leg was amputated and he underwent 16 months of treatment.

Terry decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research in a Marathon of Hope to fund a cure for all cancers. His journey began on April 12, 1980 when he dipped his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean. He ran close to 42 kilometres (26 miles) a day through Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario. I remember the day, as do many Canadians, when we heard that Terry could no longer go on.

Terry died on June 28, 1981 at the age 22, but his legacy lives on. According to The Terry Fox Foundation website, over $850 million has been raised for cancer research in Terry’s name through the annual Terry Fox Run, held across Canada and around the world.

The annual Terry Fox Run has become a tradition in Canada with more than 650 communities involved in fundraising for cancer research.

This year the Terry Fox run will be held of September 18, 2022. For more information, I invite you to visit The Terry Fox Foundation website.

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

47 thoughts on “The Legacy of Terry Fox

  1. Coincidentally, earlier I just happen ed to be rewatching Terry Fox’s cross-Canada run. A pretty serious message about the will to accomplish, regardless of the obstacles one may encounter.



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    1. Thank you, Martina for your heartfelt comments. Thank you for your friendship and support of life-affirming conversations that builds resilience and courage in our hearts. Sending many hugs along with my warmest appreciation.

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  2. Wow! It shows again that nothing is impossible! We might be able to live many and many years but fail to reach our goals, although one can achieve that in a short time as this brave young man did. It was a worthy marathon run.

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    1. I am so glad that you joined me on Burnaby Mountain, Dave. Simon Fraser Univerisity is a relatively new university. It is a beautiful campus. Terry Fox galvanized our entire nation with his courage. Remember that quote from Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare? “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” Terry rose to a challenge that he never expected to face. His response was remarkable.

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    1. He continues to inspire us all, Deborah. Reminds me of the quotes by J.R.R. Tolkien, from the Lord of the Rings

      ‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
      “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

      Terry decision changed the lives of many. Many thanks for your visit and comment. Very much appreciated.

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    1. I agree wholeheartedly, Jennifer. When I was in St. John’s I visited the Terry Fox Mile 0 site. It was a profound and moving experience to view the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque and monument commemorating Terry Fox as a person of national historic significance. Many thanks for joining me on top of Burnaby Mountain!

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  3. It is good to take time to think about the Subject of this challenging post. Terry Fox is remembered because he made a decision to walk in the only way he could across Canada, to make money to help others. The walk was difficult but he made the decision to do the best he could, he had no idea or of the resulting fame, This should be a challenge to the rest of us!

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  4. Lovely, lovely tribute Rebecca.
    I certainly remember Terry’s run. It was so sad when he had to stop. Heartbreaking.
    He is a beacon to hope, faith and charity.

    I was more than angry when the freedom riders camped in Ottawa defaced his statue.
    It was then I had to actually try not to hate, to fall into the sty with the …… morons!!

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    1. It is very difficult to understand why anyone would deface Terry Fox’s statue. As you said so well, he remains a beacon to hope, faith and charity. Many have benefited from his courageous spirit that would not give up. Maya Angelou had a wonderful way of understanding hatred: “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” Thank you for your compassionate spirit, Resa.

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      1. Likewise, thank you for your compassionate spirit!
        Maya is very enlightened. We all live in a world where there is both light and dark. Somehow dark prevails, and light peeks through.
        We need to somehow reverse that!

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  5. I remember being so inspired by his run. I have his photo in my childhood scrapbook. There’s also a monument to him “near” me where he had to stop his run in Ontario. I stop there whenever I go into Canada.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comments, Marie. His legacy has touched many cities. I am delighted to hear that his name is known international. Your comments and visit is very much appreciated.

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  6. I didn’t know who Terry was, or that he lost his battle with cancer at age 22. That made me so sad, Rebecca. But what a legacy. Some people are just heroes waiting to awaken. They make a huge impression on the world just being who they are. ❤ ❤

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    1. I agree wholeheartedly, Diana. The idea of awakening has huge implications and we really don’t know how our journey will evolve. I love the quote by Joseph Campbell:

      Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends.” Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology

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  7. An amazing legacy, Rebecca, with a remarkable story!
    It is such a shame that it takes such a tragedy to inspire. However, the end result must, I’m sure, be beneficial to and for so many in the search of health.
    Thank you for sharing the life of this strong character.
    And do forgive my late response. K and I have been busy up north attending K’s mother and the practical challenges of the time!

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    1. You are never, ever late, Carolyn. You arrived just at the perfect moment. I agree – wouldn’t it have been wonderful if Terry could have finished his journey and live on to inspire others? Sending hugs!

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    1. Thank you for your visit and comments, Shey! Just recently I was on the website of the Archie Foundation, which makes a huge difference for local sick children, providing much-needed extras not already catered for by the NHS. I believe that every act of kindness, sacrifice and volunteerism creates positive outcomes that ripple across the universe. Would love to join the Archie Bike Ride in August 2022. Maybe next year!!

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      1. Rebecca, I so agree re acts of kindness and it would be wonderful if you were in the bike ride next year. The Archie does make a huge difference for sick children. . They have achieved amazing things actually.Meant to comment when i read this post to say how much it touched me and how wonderful the tribute is. I always leave the special posts I either want to retweet or comment in open tabs. alas it then can happen if i go from the desk for whatever reason, I come back and then close them AHHHHH. So apologies re that xx

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