Last week, I decided to touch on certain role models that I’ve had over the years. I showcased Michele “The Mouse” Krasnoo last week, as she has a been a source of inspiration and martial arts brilliance for me for as long a I can remember. But this week, I decided to touch on someone who may not be a martial artists, but has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a young child. Terry Fox.
Terry Fox (and I’m quoting directly from Wikipedia here, since I lack some of the specific details) was a Canadian who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 1977 and ultimately had his right leg amputated in 1977. Despite his amputation, Fox continued to run using a prosthetic leg and even played basketball and various other activities.
Terry Fox was a self-driven warrior. No act of God or man could keep him from his goals, and he hated losing so much that he continued to push until he succeeded, no matter what it involved.
“I Believe In Miracles. I Have To.”– Terry Fox
Fox started on the Marathon of Hope in 1980, dipping his foot into the Atlantic ocean and carrying samples of ocean water with him with the intention of pouring it into the Pacific ocean once he completed his cross-country trek. He made it as far as Thunder Bay, Ontario before, despite his will and recuperative capacity, he had to stop after suffering coughing fits and chest pain. The cancer that had taken his leg had spread to his lungs and ultimately ended his journey.
On June 19, 1981 Terry Fox passed away after succumbing to complications from pneumonia. His death rocked the entire country, even going as far as having the country lower flags to half mast, which was a practice normally reserved for statesmen.
The Terry Fox Run and the Marathon of Hope continue to be inspirations for Canadians. Fox set out to raise awareness and funds for cancer research and damn if he didn’t make his mark on the world. We should all be so lucky. But the important lesson is that no matter what the debilitation, you can reach your goals and make an impression no matter what the condition you face. ☯