At the age of eighteen, he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma and for those of you who aren't doctors, this means bone cancer. As a result his right leg had to be amputated to 15 inches above the knee in 1977.
When he was in the hospital he saw cancer patients, many of them children and decided to run across Canada to raise $1 million for cancer research. He spent 18 months and ran over 5000 km to train for the journey. Then, on April 12, 1980, he dipped his prosthetic in the Atlantic and started out. In the beginning it was difficult to get anyone to pay attention to Terry but eventually, as he got closer to Ontario, interest and enthusiasm grew. Every day he ran 42 km, an amout which I consider insane. I think he even could have run in the Olympics, he had that much endurance and heart.
This is where the sad part comes in. After running 5373 km (143 days) he was forced to stop outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario because the cancer had spread to his lungs. He passed away a little more than a year later on September 1, 1981. But even though he's no longer with us, his goal has become our goal. To date, $360 million has been raised for cancer research and the Terry Fox Run is run in over 50 countries in the world.
On April 4, the loon on the dollar was been replaced by Terry and by all accounts, people were lining up at the Royal Mint just to exchange their loonie for one. Only 11 million will be issued but I personally think that they're going to have to do a second run. Everyone's going to hoard those things. I certainly know I'm gonna get one.
As for Terry, he's the one guy we can all agree upon.