Terry Fox was a Canadian athlete and cancer research crusader whose heroic efforts etched his name into Canadian folklore. His persistence and willpower had been visible since he was a toddler. Fox, a talented athlete, was afflicted with cancer at the age of eighteen and had to have his right leg amputated. Rather than becoming stifled, he grew mentally stronger and maintained his positivity, even with an artificial leg. He had witnessed firsthand the suffering and sufferings of cancer patients, and he had a burning desire to assist them in any way he could. Soon after, Fox devised a mammoth plan to walk the length of Canada to raise money for cancer research while also encouraging others with disabilities. He traveled throughout Canada, running nearly 43 kilometers each day to deliver his message. He quickly rose to celebrity status and was able to secure significant donations. His marathon was cut short due to reoccurring cancer during the height of his popularity, which led to his early death. Fox, on the other hand, had accomplished considerably more than he had hoped for, not just in terms of raising finances, but also in terms of creating a statement that embodied the strength of the human spirit.
Childhood and Adolescence
Betty and Rolland Fox have a son named Terry Fox. Terry has been tenacious in everything he has done since he was a child, and he despises losing in sports. He enjoyed basketball but wasn’t particularly good until he was in eighth school. Terry persisted despite his physical education teacher’s advice to switch sports due to his little stature. Gradually, with practice, he improved to the point where, by ninth grade, he was able to make the basketball team. In twelfth school, he and his best friend Doug Alward were named ‘Co-Athlete of the Year.’
He enrolled at ‘Simon Fraser University’ in 1976 to study Kinesiology, or the science of bodily movement, with the goal of becoming a physical education teacher. He also made the basketball squad at the university. His right leg was amputated six inches above the knee when he was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, in 1977. He was equipped with a prosthetic leg and informed by physicians that he had a fifty percent chance of surviving the cancer.
He was upset during his treatment at the ‘British Columbia Cancer Control Agency’ when he saw other cancer patients suffering and resolved to help them. He was able to recover from cancer in the end.
Early Life of Fox
Fox read an article about an amputee who ran the ‘New York City Marathon’ when he was in the hospital for his surgery. He was inspired by the athlete and devised a complex plan to run the length of Canada in order to encourage other cancer patients, promote cancer awareness, and fund cancer research. In 1979, he began an arduous and difficult training program for his marathon, covering more than 5000 kilometers in the process. In Prince George, British Columbia, he also finished a 43-kilometer marathon.
He wrote to the ‘Canadian Cancer Society’ in 1979, announcing his intentions and requesting sponsorship for the marathon. The society was first skeptical, but after he secured other sponsors, they agreed to help him. He sent another letter to corporations, requesting that they fund the shoes, a van, and other marathon expenses. Ford, Imperial Oil, and Adidas all helped him out by donating a vehicle, gas money, and shoes, respectively. Even his family helped fund the project by holding garage sales and dances. Fox began his ‘Marathon of Hope’ in April 1980 by immersing his artificial foot into the Atlantic Ocean. Doug Alward, a classmate, accompanied him as the van’s driver.
Every day, he ran roughly 43 kilometers, and he had to contend with severe winds, torrential rain, blizzards, blisters, and even a lack of enthusiastic response for the first few days. However, he was encouraged by the response he received in Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, where 10,000 people donated more than $10,000 to his cause.
Isadore Sharp, the CEO of a hotel and resort group whose son died of cancer, backed Fox’s campaign. Sharp first offered Fox meals and lodging at one of his hotels.
Sharp encouraged Terry when he became discouraged by the low donations by pledging to donate $2 for every mile Fox covered. Sharp also leveraged his business ties to get 999 other companies to follow suit. Fox stayed in Montreal for a few days in order to arrive in Ottawa on ‘Canada Day,’ expecting that his timing would aid in the contribution drive. He arrived in Ottawa after going across Ontario and receiving a warm welcome. He met the Governor General and the Prime Minister here, and he was a distinguished guest for numerous games.
Some notable people ran with him when he arrived in Toronto to a thunderous welcome, including NHL player Darryl Sittler. On that day, he was honored in ‘Nathan Phillips Square,’ where he received over $100,000 in donations. He went to a lot more functions and even gave remarks at several of them. However, he had shin splits, an inflamed knee, tendinitis, cyst formation, and disorientation as a result of his constant running. However, he ignored all of the suggestions to slow down and continued to run at the same speed.
While running in Ontario on September 1, 1980, he experienced chest aches and coughing fits. He tried to continue jogging, but the pain became unbearable, and he was brought to the hospital. The cancer in Fox’s lungs had progressed. He gave a press conference the next day to break the news and then returned to British Columbia for further treatment, bringing his marathon to a close. Until recently, he had managed to generate $1.7 million. The ‘CTV Television Network’ held a fundraiser for him shortly after he quit running. The event was attended by a number of celebrities and raised $10.5 million in donations in under five hours. Donations continued to pour in after that, reaching $23 million by April 1981.
Major Projects of Fox
Fox’s ‘Marathon of Hope’ across the length of Canada lasted 143 days and covered 5,373 kilometers. Because of his unwavering energy and commitment, the event gained national and then international acclaim, raising a total of $24.17 million for cancer research.
Achievements & Awards
In 1980, he was named a “Companion of the Order of Canada,” making him the youngest person ever to earn this honor. In 1980, he was named the ‘Lou Marsh Award’ as Canada’s best sportsman of the year. In 1980, he was named “Canada’s Newsmaker of the Year,” and the following year, he was named “Canada’s Newsmaker of the Year.”
Personal History and Legacy
After collapsing into a coma, he died on June 28, 1981. Following Fox’s death from cancer in September 1981, businessman Isadore Sharp and Fox’s family organized the first Terry Fox Run. It was a 24-hour fundraising marathon for cancer research. Following that, the marathon was held every year and has now grown into an international event with participants from all over the world. In Canada, he has several buildings, roads, parks, and schools named after him. In addition, seven statues have been placed throughout Canada.
Rick Hansen, the paralympic athlete who inducted Fox into the wheelchair basketball team, was inspired by Fox’s efforts and began on his own tour, dubbed the “Man in Motion World Tour.” In his wheelchair, he traveled around the world and raised more than $26 million in 34 countries. ‘The Terry Fox Story’ and ‘Terry’ are two films based on Fox’s life. While the former was chastised by Fox’s family for the manner in which it expressed his rage, the latter was more well-received.
Estimated Net Worth
Let us now discuss Terry Fox’s net worth. His fortune was enormous. When we looked up Terry Fox’s net worth on the internet, we discovered that he had a net worth of roughly $0.5 million dollars when he died. Every day, a large number of people look up Terry Fox’s age, net worth, and height on the internet.
The right leg of this Canadian hero was severed and replaced with an artificial one composed of steel and fiberglass. Despite the fact that he couldn’t walk normally, he ran a marathon that would go down in history.