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A Call to Share the Inspirational Life of Terry Fox

September 18, 2013

At our Services on September 8, we reflected together on the inspirational life of Terry Fox. 

terry_fox_15Terry, we remembered, had lost a leg to cancer as an athletic young man, and decided to run a marathon a day to raise money for cancer research. His hope was to raise $1 for every Canadian, then numbering 24 million. After 143 days and 5,373 km, a recurrence of cancer forced Terry to stop running. 

Three months after this, Terry spoke of the deeper race in which he was engaged:

I don’t care what percentages the doctor tells me I have. If God is true I know I’ve got 100 per cent, if that’s what He has I pray that the sharing of your faith may become in His plans for me. And if I really believe and if God is really there, then I’m not going to lose even if I die, because it’s supposed to be the Pearly Gates I’m going through, and if heaven is there, I can’t lose out.

And he concluded with a challenge:

Maybe now instead of being afraid and saying, “Well, look how hard Terry tried and he’s still got it,” people will say, “Look at the effort he put in and he died of cancer. We’re really going to have to try hard in order to beat it, try harder than we ever have before.”

TerryFoxRunThis is exactly what happened. The Terry Fox Foundation has raised $600 million worldwide, and shows no signs of slowing down. Last year, the annual Terry Fox Run raised $27 million in Canada alone. Terry’s example has inspired millions. In a 1999 survey, he was identified as Canada’s greatest hero. In CBC’s 2004 countrywide vote for the greatest Canadian, Terry finished second only to Tommy Douglas.

We share the same anchor in the storm and the same hope as Terry. How can we not share also his courage and his dedication to make a difference in the world with all our strength?

Terry_Fox

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This is adapted from the conclusion to the sermon at our September 8 Services. Terry’s quotation is from Terry Fox: His Story (Revised), by Leslie Scrivener. This book is available for borrowing at the Book Nook outside my office.

Embedded below is a video of another young runner, Heather Dorniden, with the same inspiring challenge to keep running with courage and dedication.

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