Terry Fox was a natural athlete, excelling at long distance running and basketball. He also had one leg.
I was nine years old when I watched him take his first step of the Marathon of Hope. Every mile he finished, favouring his natural leg, pounding down on the artificial one equated to a dollar for each of Canada’s 24 million people. Even my adult self still thinks that is a daunting number to tackle.
He had a vision though, nothing was going to stop him. His dream was to raise money for cancer research, introduce more effective treatments and track the causes of this often fatal disease. His quest started in St.John’s, Newfoundland, as far east as you could get. I remember very little people cheering him on, maybe his mother kissing him and wishing him luck.
By the time he reached Ontario, he was a hero. Me and my siblings would battle for space in front of the TV, as Terry talked about his cause, met politicians or athletes to raise awareness. We wanted to be him.
Then, as the glory was in its bloom – the cancer spread to his lungs and he died nine months later at age 22.
This rings as sad, but the truth is he triumphed. He’s remembered to this day and thousands of people participate in the Terry Fox Run every single year to continue his work.
Then, I thought about all the amazing women I’ve met, have yet to meet. The ones who accomplished impossible goals, endured abuse or life-threatening disease to run towards the light and emerge on the other side.
Women all over the world sometimes need to know other women are doing grand, immeasurable things. To realize that we are all human too, understand frailty as well as success.
Chicks Conquering the World is a new monthly series and it’s about highlighting women who have triumphed over illness, adversity or doing interesting things even if it wasn’t the most popular choice at the time.
Perhaps you are one of them.
And if you are, we want to cheer you on, prop you up and celebrate who you are.
Cause you are half the planet.
So, if you’re saving orphans, starting a kick-ass business or took control of situation that seemed unworkable and turned it around, I want to hear from you!
Come on ladies, show us what you’re made of.
If you’d like to be featured or want to nominate someone for Chicks Conquering the World, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.