I wanted to share with you a letter written by Canadian national hero, Terry Fox, with the hopes of getting Adidas to sponsor his footwear for the Marathon of Hope.
If you’re not familiar with Terry Fox, he was a man who chose to raise funds for cancer research by running across the entire country of Canada, despite having an amputated leg as a result of his own cancer. This was called the Marathon of Hope.
I found his letter to Adidas (below) particularly inspiring, as I’m sure you’ll see for yourself. I won’t write too much because I believe the letter speaks for itself as well. Here it is.
November 3, 1979
My name is Terry Fox, I am 21 years old, and I am an amputee. I lost my right leg above the knee two and a half years ago due to cancer.
The night before my amputation, a former basketball coach brought me a magazine with an article on an amputee who ran in the New York Marathon in it. It was then when 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 throughout the cancer clinic. There were the faces with the brave smiles, and the ones who had given up smiling. There were the 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.
I feel now is the time to make good my promise. I have been training for over 8 months, running on an artificial leg. Starting with ½ mile, I have now worked up to 15 miles a day, adding a half mile weekly.
At first the going was extremely difficult, as 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 each week, and coupled with the weight training I have been doing three times a week, by April next year I will be ready to achieve something that for me was 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. But there are some barriers I cannot overcome alone. I need your help, your sponsorship, to help provide the means to sustain myself and two others that have consented to put aside those 5 months to be my companions and aides. We will be needing transportation to Newfoundland, a camper-type vehicle to meet us there …
If you could just sponsor us for the footwear, it would be more than appreciated and would take a great financial burden off our backs. If you would also like to provide your sponsorship for any other expenditures for the trip, you are most welcome to, as we need as much help as we can get.
Please, consider my plea carefully and notify me if you come to any decisions, good or bad. My number is listed below and I can be reached or a message can be left any time during the day.
We need your help. The people in caner clinics all over the world need people who believe in miracles. I’m not a dreamer, and I’m not saying that this will initiate the definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to.
Terry Fox exemplifies someone who chose to find meaning in his suffering.
He took a circumstance that would prevent him from living an ordinary life and used it to live an extraordinary one. In the face of suffering, he didn’t throw up his hands in defeat and say, “What’s the point?” Instead, he found his point, right there, on his sickbed — the direction for which to propel himself, his newfound purpose.
As a result, he went from being a ‘victim’ to a ‘hero’. Today, the Terry Fox Run, which originated from the Marathon of Hope, is the largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research in the world and is celebrated in over 60 countries. Not bad eh?
WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
Now it comes down to you. How will YOU find meaning in your suffering? Will you choose to let it propel you or prevent you?
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