Three and a half decades ago, a young Canadian man whose name nobody outside his circle of family, friends and medical professionals had ever heard, dipped his prosthetic leg in the Atlantic Ocean and set out on the journey of a lifetime.
Thirty five years later, you’d be hard pressed to find a person in Canada who is unfamiliar with Terry Fox — or throughout much of the world for that matter.
In the decades since his Marathon of Hope was cut short by the return of the cancer that claimed his leg — and eventually his life — Fox’s journey has been taken up by countless participants across the globe, with millions of dollars raised for cancer research in the process.
This Sunday, Sept. 20, Fox’s legacy will be honoured once again as walkers, runners, bicyclists, bladers and many others will once again hit roads and trails across Canada and in many other nations around the world in his memory.
Last year, Brent Fitzgerald and his wife Lisa Fitzgerald stepped up to stage the run, assuming the duties from organizer Bill Palmer. The duo decided the event was too important to the community to lose due to lack of organizers and volunteered their time.
The Fitzgeralds are right that Fox’s Marathon of Hope is something that resonated with everyone.
The Terry Fox Foundation, one of the largest non-governmental funders of cancer research in the country, states that 84 cents of every dollar raised goes to cancer research. That has resulted in 1,212 cancer research projects funded to date by the foundation.
We’d encourage anyone who is on the fence to get out and participate this year, even if it’s just for an easy one-kilometre stroll.
In doing so, you’ll be honouring not only Fox but the tireless efforts of volunteers who are helping to ensure that his legacy lives on in Penticton.