Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the Canadian athlete and humanitarian Terry Fox.
Terrance Stanley Fox (1958 -1981), after losing his right leg owing to bone cancer, ran 3,339 miles to raise money for research.
He started on 12 April 1980, when he dipped his artificial leg into the Atlantic at Cape Spear, and ran close to a marathon a day for over four months, until 1 September.
While in hospital, Terry had been so affected by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise awareness and money for cancer research. He would call his journey the “Marathon of Hope”, an adventure that seemed to defy logic and common sense, but that he felt as a way of repaying a debt, since he thought he had managed to defeat the disease.
“I’m not a dreamer, and I’m not saying this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to.”
Unfortunately, a return of his cancer, this time in his lungs, prevented him from completing the route, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles), but he had been able to achieve his goal of raising one dollar from each of Canada’s 24 million people, totalling over $24 million for cancer research.
“I’ve got cancer in my lungs. We have to go home and do some more treatments. But all I can say is that if there is any way I can get out there and finish, I will.”
He died on 28 June 1981, a month before his 23rd birthday.
On 13 September 1981 the first annual Terry Fox Run, united 300,000 people across Canada to walk, run or cycle in Terry’s memory, and to raise money for cancer research.
“I want to try the impossible to show it can be done.”