12.04.

1980: Terry Fox Runs 8,000 Kilometers after Cancer and Amputation

1980: Terry Fox Runs 8,000 Kilometers after Cancer and Amputation
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons / Statue of marathon runner Terry Fox overlooking Thunder Bay and the Trans-Canada Highway

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 12 April 1980
  • Terry Fox was running with the prosthesis caused him severe pain, but he noted that after 20 minutes that he had crossed the threshold of pain, and running became easier.

Terry Fox was a Canadian who played basketball and was a long-distance runner in high school and in college. When he was 18 he was diagnosed with bone cancer (osteosarcoma).

Doctors had to amputate his right leg and expose him to chemotherapy. Of unbreakable spirit, Terry Fox began to walk with a prosthetic leg three weeks after the amputation. He began to play wheelchair basketball and won three national titles with his team.

After reading an article about the first amputee to complete the New York City Marathon, he decided to run a marathon himself. Running with the prosthesis caused him severe pain, but he noted that after 20 minutes that he had crossed the threshold of pain, and running became easier.

After successfully finishing the marathon, Terry Fox opted for an even greater endeavor – to run across Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The point of this venture was to raise public awareness of the importance of cancer research.

On this day in 1980 Terry Fox embarked on an 8,000 km-long journey by dipping his right leg in the Atlantic Ocean. He ran an average of 42 kilometers a day and became a big star in Canada and around the world.

After 143 days and 5,373 kilometers he had to stop because the cancer spread to his lungs. He was re-exposed to chemotherapy treatments, but died never having accomplished his quest. However, his efforts resulted in the raising of over $ 500 million for cancer research in his name.

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