A Reminder of the Strength of the Human Spirit

A found this letter on Twitter today that Terry Fox wrote in October 1979, about his Marathon of Hope, and his fight to end cancer. I found it very apropos, as this weekend is the Weekend to End Breast Cancer Walk here in Montreal. Read this…


The night before my amputation, my former basketball coach brought me a magazine with an article on an amputee who ran in the New York Marathon. It was then I decided to meet this new challenge head on and not only overcome my disability, but conquer it in such a way that I could never look back and say it disabled me.

But I soon realized that that would only be half my quest, for as I went through the 16 months of the physically and emotionally draining ordeal of chemotherapy, I was rudely awakened by the feelings that surrounded and coursed through the cancer clinic. There were faces with the brave smiles, and the ones who had given up smiling. There were feelings of hopeful denial, and the feelings of despair. My quest would not be a selfish one. I could not leave knowing these faces and feelings would still exist, even though I would be set free from mine. Somewhere the hurting must stop… and I was determined to take myself to the limit for this cause.

From the beginning the going was extremely difficult, and I was facing chronic ailments foreign to runners with two legs in addition to the common physical strains felt by all dedicated athletes.

But these problems are now behind me, as I have either out-persisted or learned to deal with them. I feel strong not only physically, but more important, emotionally. Soon I will be adding one full mile a week, and coupled with weight training I have been doing, by next April I will be ready to achieve something that for me was once only a distant dream reserved for the world of miracles – to run across Canada to raise money for the fight against cancer.

The running I can do, even if I have to crawl every last mile.

We need your help. The people in cancer clinics all over the world need people who believe in miracles.

I am not a dreamer, and I am not saying that this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer. But I believe in miracles. I have to.

Terry Fox, October 1979

If we all don’t do our part, no matter how small, in ANY area of life, how will the world change? Everything lies in our own two hands. I say, instead of complaining, DO SOMETHING!

I will leave you on this sunny Sunday with one of my favorite quotes:

To achieve greatness, start where you are, use what you have, do what you can

–Arthur Ashe

What are your thoughts?


  1. What a piece of inspiration.
    Terry Fox said he was not a dreamer, I think he was a dreamer, but he was also an achiever and a believer. The quote from Arthur Ashe suits very well Terry, he achieved greatness and he started right where he was.
    My wife also walked for Brest Cancer because his hunt had Brest Cancer and she was able to recover.

    Thank you Erica from sharing this inspirational text with us.

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