The Terry Fox Story

Once or twice in a lifetime, someone special comes along who touches our hearts, deepens our faith in humanity and changes forever the way we look at the world. Someone who exhibits courage, selflessness and tenacity - someone who fights for a dream and works to make it come true. Terry Fox was that kind of person. He touched a common chord that spoke to us of goodness and possibilities, of defiance in the face of an enemy, of human decency and most of all - of generosity.

How the marathon of Hope Began 

Terry Fox knew personally how great the need for cancer research was. At 18 years, he was told that his right leg would have to be amputated above the knee as a result of bone cancer. During his time in hospital and the therapy that followed, Terry saw the pain and despair of other cancer patients and was deeply moved. The only way to stop that pain was to find a cure - and since funds for cancer research were in short supply - Terry decided to do something to help.

His plan was to run from one coast of Canada to the ot her, and along the way, he'd ask for a $1.00 donation from each Canadian in support of cancer research - for a total of $24 million. He'd call it The Marathon of Hope. Before beginning the actual run, in 15 months he covered over 4,800 km (3000 miles) in training.

On April 12th, 1980, Terry dipped his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean in St. John's, Newfoundland, then turned and began running westward. The Marathon of hope was unde rway. For the next 143 days, he ran the equivalent of a marathon every day - 42 km (26 miles). On September 1st, 1980, near Thunder Bay Ontario, well over half-way home to British Columbia - Terry was forced to stop his run. The cancer had spread to his lungs, and 23 million Canadian hearts ached for a national hero.

Terry died on June 28th, 1981 - one month before his 23rd birthday.

Port Coquitlam Senior Secondary was proud to honor this courageous graduate by renaming the school Terry Fox Secondary on January 18th, 1986. As citizens of the school, we strive to uphold his spirit of courage, determination and the will to be steadfast in our individual pursuits of excellence. We can also help continue Terry's legacy by contributing to and running in the Terry Fox Run every September.