Let’s sup­port Terry’s dream

The Compass - - OPINION -

Can you iden­tify a Cana­dian whose name is con­nected to a moun­tain peak, an ice­breaker, and over a dozen schools and a dozen streets?

Here’s a hint — he won the hearts of mil­lions of Cana­di­ans more than three decades ago by at­tempt­ing to run across Canada, on only one leg, and he fought can­cer to the bit­ter end, los­ing the bat­tle in June 1981.

His painfully shy per­son­al­ity, unique run­ning style, curly hair and freck­les re­main etched in the mem­o­ries of Cana­di­ans of a cer­tain vin­tage.

But it ap­pears many of us need a re­minder of the in­cred­i­ble courage and de­ter­mi­na­tion dis­played by Terry Fox — a true Cana­dian icon — dur­ing his Marathon of Hope in 1980, dur­ing which he ran the equiv­a­lent of a marathon a day for 143 days.

With only one Terry Fox Run planned for the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion re­gion on Sept. 16 (at St. Fran­cis Field in Har­bour Grace), it’s hard not to won­der why such a large re­gion is not do­ing more to hon­our Terry’s legacy and continue his goal of find­ing a cure for can­cer.

With a half-dozen or so large towns in this re­gion, and so many of us be­ing touched by the scourge of can­cer, wouldn’t it be rea­son­able to ex­pect more? One would think. But it’s hardly sur­pris­ing. Not long ago, the Terry Fox Run in St. John’s was close to be­ing shelved. It took a ma­jor pub­lic re­la­tions ef­fort by the foun­da­tion to re­vive the event, with the St. John’s soc­cer club and its many hun­dreds of par­tic­i­pates sign­ing on to or­ga­nize the run.

A sim­i­lar ef­fort may be re­quired in this re­gion, and here are a few sug­ges­tions. Per­haps the Con­cep­tion Bay North Light­en­ing soc­cer as­so­ci­a­tion could use its vast net­work of par­ent sup­port­ers and young ath­letes to stage a run in Bay Roberts in 2013. And how about the 295 Bac­calieu sea cadets in Old Per­li­can? This corps has con­sis­tently dis­tin­guished it­self as the best in the prov­ince, and could un­doubt­edly or­ga­nize a first-class Terry Fox Run.

Terry Fox be­came fa­mous for his never-give-up at­ti­tude, and demon­strated that an or­di­nary young man could achieve some­thing ex­tra­or­di­nary. In the years since his awe-in­spir­ing run, some $600 bil­lion has been raised for can­cer re­search.

It takes some­one with ex­cep­tional lead­er­ship qual­i­ties and an abil­ity to mo­ti­vate and mo­bi­lize vol­un­teers and par­tic­i­pants to or­ga­nize a Terry Fox Run, and we proved last month by suc­cess­fully stag­ing the 2012 NL Sum­mer Games that we have plenty of peo­ple with those qual­i­ties.

It’s im­por­tant to point out that all 42 Terry Fox Runs in the prov­ince are or­ga­nized and run by vol­un­teers, many in com­mu­ni­ties with tiny pop­u­la­tions.

That said, we take this op­por­tu­nity to is­sue a chal­lenge for 2013. Let’s make an ef­fort to stage more Terry Fox runs in this re­gion. But in the mean­time, we can show our ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Terry’s ef­forts by sup­port­ing the event in Har­bour Grace.

We give Terry Fox the last word: “I just wish peo­ple would re­al­ize that any­thing’s pos­si­ble if you try; dreams are made pos­si­ble if you try.”

— Terry Roberts

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.