by Kris MacLeod
I remember the day a hero came to our town. July 11, 1980, Terry Fox reached Scarborough, Ontario on his historic run to raise money for cancer research. In the eyes of the nation he was a hero, braving the unprecedented challenge of running across Canada on one artificial leg.
Although I didn’t get to see him in person, I watched Terry’s arrival on tv. “I’m going to do my very best,” he told the cheering crowds. “I’m not going to give up.”
At the time, my dreams included creating the world’s biggest sticker collection, designing a fun-house for the fair, riding a horse and, of course, travelling the world. As a shy, quiet child, I was often intimidated by new people and experiences. Yet when I saw images of Terry, running solo along the rugged, tree-lined highway, I felt I could do anything I put my mind to. I felt liberated. I was inspired by the power of believing.
My children and I have visited the Terry Fox Monument (the site of the last marathon mile) outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario. They marvelled with me at the tremendous feat that was accomplished and the dream that was realized, although the run was cut short. I haven’t accomplished all of my childhood dreams, but I treasure the ones that I held. What I treasure most was the courage to believe in them.
My children will find their own mentors in life and be inspired by their own unique adventures. Until then, and after, I will continue to encourage them to dream big, to set goals, and to believe in themselves.
As Terry Fox said, “Anything is possible, if you try.”
Family Life Moments
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