Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and raised in Port Coquitlam, Terry Fox spent his early years in British Columbia, a community near Vancouver on Canada’s west coast. As an active teenager, he was passionately involved in many sports. As ill luck would have it, Terry was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma, a fatal form of bone cancer. It forced to have his right leg amputated 15 centimeters above the knee in 1977. While in hospital, Terry was so deeply moved, terribly touched and awfully overcome by the painful sufferings of other cancer patients. In particular, the heart-wrenching plight of many young children sent a chilling blow into his spine. He decided to rise above his personal pain and grow larger than his tragic course that destiny had in store for him on the way. He grew larger than life and opted to fight cancer in his own unique way. The experience ignited in him a fierce determination to bring an end to the suffering caused by cancer. His personal experience and research led him to the conclusion that far more money was needed for cancer research. Thus, Terry dipped his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean and proceeded to change the world. He decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He would fondly term his journey the Marathon of Hope. After 18 months and running over 5,000 kilometers to prepare, Terry started his run in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980 with little fanfare. Although it was difficult to seek attention in the beginning yet the enthusiasm soon grew manifold. The money collected along his route began to mount with every passing day. He ran close to 42 kilometers a day through Canada’s Atlantic Provinces, Quebec and Ontario. By February 1, 1981, Terry’s dream of raising $1 for every Canadian was realized – the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope fund totaled $24.17 million. However, on September 1st, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometers (3,339 miles), Terry was forced to stop running outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario because cancer had found its deadly passage in his lungs. This shocking news further compounded his pain and he was hospitalized once more and for the last time. The entire nation was stunned and saddened to limits. Terry Fox had become a hero on his death-bed and he passed away on June 28, 1981 only at the age 22. The heroic Canadian was gone only at the very prime of his youth, but his legacy was just beginning to unfold into epical proportion. Before his death that was always set to come, Terry had achieved his once unimaginable goal of $1 from every Canadian. More importantly, he had set in motion the framework for an event, The Terry Fox Run, that would ignite cancer research in Canada, raising more than $850 million since 1980, and bring hope and health to millions of Canadians. There are many moving accounts of his heroic marathon shared by those who witnessed his race against cancer, race against time. Here is one touching memory shared by a cancer survivor, Mr. Bob McCaig from Ontario, “I first saw Terry Fox running west on Dundas Street in downtown London. It was an incredibly hot humid day. The streets were packed. The excitement palpable. “Here he comes, I can see him!” I was transfixed. Clumping along in that awkward, never to be forgotten lope of his. Tears rushed to my eyes – his determined smile masking the pain that must have accompanied his every step. Monies in every form we’re rushed forward to fill the proffered bags held by Terry’s running compatriots collecting for the fight against cancer – on the Marathon of Hope. Then suddenly as the runners moved on, Terry disappeared from sight – He was gone – never to be forgotten.” While he was in hospital, he received a letter from one of the many people he had inspired along the way. Isadore Sharp, president of the Four Seasons Hotel, wrote Fox offering to help him continue his dream through an annual fundraiser. It would be called the Terry Fox Run. Fox agreed, but insisted on some ground rules: The event would be non-competitive – no winners, no awards, just the goal of raising money for cancer research. And there would be no corporate sponsorship. Initially, Mr. Sharp faced opposition to the project: the Cancer Society feared that a fall run would detract from its traditional April campaigns, while other charities believed that an additional fundraiser would leave less money for their causes. Sharp persisted, and he, the Four Seasons Hotels and the Fox family organized the first Terry Fox Run on September 13, 1981. Over 300,000 people took part and raised $3.5 million in the first Terry Fox Run. Schools across Canada were urged to join the second run, held on September 19, 1982. School participation has continued since, evolving into the National School Run Day. The runs, which raised over $20 million in their first six years, grew into an international event as over one million people in 60 countries took part in 1999, raising $15 million that year alone. By the Terry Fox Run’s 25th anniversary, more than three million people were taking part annually. Grants from the Terry Fox Foundation, which organizes the runs, have helped Canadian scientists make numerous advances in cancer research. The Terry Fox Run is the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research, and over $850 million has been raised in his name, so far. The glorious legacy left behind by Terry Fox has grown into global landscape. Raised and established to commemorate and further advance his larger than life mission, the Terry Fox Foundation honors his vision and spirit while raising critical funds for cancer research. As a leading national charitable organization, the Terry Fox Foundation plays a vital role in building community, engaging more than 20,000 passionate volunteers and 3.5 million students in nearly 10,000 annual fundraising events across the country. People around the world of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities have been inspired by Terry’s enduring legacy. Through the generous support of its inspired donors, partners, and volunteers, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $850 million and funded 1,300 innovative cancer research projects, bringing hope and health to millions of Canadians. Since its inception, the Teri Fox Research Institute (TFRI) has invested in groundbreaking scientific projects that accelerate discoveries for the benefit of cancer patients. Today, this investment expands beyond our flagship basic science and translational research programs. With support from partners across the country, including the Government of Canada, we now lead two innovative projects that embody Terry Fox’s spirit and unite our country to improve the lives of cancer patients through precision medicine: the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network and the Digital Health and Discovery Platform. The story is simple yet very empowering. Terry Fox underwent 16 months of treatment and found he could not ignore the suffering he witnessed in the cancer wards. Terry decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research in a Marathon of Hope. He wasn’t doing the run to become famous; he wanted to create change and fund a cure for all cancers. He ran through snow, rain, wind, heat, humidity. He stopped in more than 400 towns, schools and cities to talk about why he was running. He started at 4:30am in the morning, and often did not finish his last mile until 7 pm at night. Sometimes, Terry and Doug, his best friend and driver, would sleep in the van because they could not afford a place to stay. Some days hundreds of people cheered him on; other days he was alone on the road, and no money was raised. But Terry never gave up hope that Canadians would respond to his story, to his effort and he was right. Canadians witnessed that Terry’s exemplary determination to run that rare marathon of hope and his indomitable will to get across the finishing line was indeed set to become a metaphor of persistence, perseverance, and courage of conviction. Although Terry Fox died only at the age of 22 and miles before reaching the finishing line, but his inspirational story has helped millions win many tough battles. It will continue to empower millions more in the rough and tumble of their challenging lives till eternity. We live in deeds and not in years. The writer is a civil servant by profession, a writer by choice and a motivational speaker by passion!