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Terrance Stanley "Terry" Fox, CC (July 28, 1958 June 28, 1981) was a Canadian humanitarian, athlete, and cancer treatment activist. He became famous for the Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research, which Fox ran with one prosthetic leg. He is considered one of Canada's greatest heroes and is celebrated internationally every September as people participate in the Terry Fox Run, the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research.
In 2004, Terry Fox was voted 2nd place on The Greatest Canadian.
Terry Fox was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to Rolly and Betty Fox. He was raised in Vancouver, British Columbia and then moved to the family home on Morrill Street in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, with his older brother Fred, his younger brother Darrell, and his sister Judith.
Four things were evident about him; first, he loved sports of all kinds - soccer, rugby union, baseball, and diving. Second, he was not tall; hence he had to work harder than the bigger kids. Third, he was extremely competitive. Lastly, he had a huge amount of determination. Fox's father, Rolly Fox, recalls that his son was very competitive in everything from board games to table hockey. Rolly notes that "if you were better than him at the start, he'd keep playing until he was better than you...It didn't matter what it was, he hated to lose."
In junior high school, Fox loved basketball and wanted to play guard on the Mary Hill Cobras team. He was only 5 feet tall at the time and mediocre at the game. In order to achieve his goal, he spent every day practicing his basketball skills. By grade ten, he was one of the best guards. In senior high school he was a starting guard for the Port Coquitlam Ravens. Thus, he achieved his goal because of his determination. In grade eight, Bob McGill, his physical education teacher suggested Fox should try out for cross country running. At that time, Fox completely had no interest in running but he started training anyway, because he had so much respect for his coach. Fox found the running exhausting but at the end, his coach praised his work ethic. And Fox kept that to the end of his days.
In his teenage years, he won numerous medals in diving and swimming competitions, and impressed many people with his stamina and endurance. Though many of his instructors encouraged him to stay with water sports and train professionally, instead he pursued his dream of becoming a physical education teacher. After graduating with honours from Port Coquitlam Senior Secondary School (which was later renamed Terry Fox Secondary School in his honour), he studied kinesiology at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. Fox was an active student at SFU and participated in a variety of on-campus clubs and groups.
On November 12, 1976, Fox was driving back home along Port Coquitlam's highway in his green 1968 Ford Cortina. He was distracted by a bridge construction site, but the person in the truck did not get injured
In 1977, after feeling pain in his right knee, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. This is a form of cancer that strikes men more than women, usually around ages ten to twenty-five. Very often the cancer starts at the knee, then works its way up into the muscles and tendons. At the time, the only way to treat his condition was to amputate his right leg several inches above the knee.
Fox believed that the injury from the 1976 crash had weakened his knee and made it more susceptible to cancer, although his doctors disagreed. The causes of osteosarcoma are not known.
Three years after losing his leg, the young athlete decided to run from coast to coast in order to raise money for cancer research. In creating the Marathon of Hope, his goal was to raise $1 from each Canadian citizen. In February of 1979, Terry Fox began training for the Marathon of Hope by running one-quarter of a mile. By the conclusion of his preparation-training 14 months later, Fox had run 5,085 kilometres or 3,159.5 miles.
Info Taken from Wikipedia.com
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