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Letter: An ode to Terry Fox

He was awarded the Order of Canada/And a mountain was named after him/For his efforts in fighting this terrible disease/ So the outcome will be positive, not grim
The Terry Fox run is on the horizon.

It was cold down by St. Johns harbour,
When Terry Fox began his trek;
He would face challenges on the highways,
In the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec.

He dipped his artificial leg,
In to the cold waters of the Atlantic;
And then started on his epic journey,
Which would prove to be gigantic.

He started out quite slowly,
Without too much support;
Along the highways of Newfoundland
And the far-flung distant outports.

Who was this young  Canadian,
From Vancouver in the West;
Who wanted to run across Canada
And fulfill a daunting quest.

He would soon become quite famous
And admired when people talk;
For attempting to do this enormous feat
His name is Terry Fox.

Terry was born in Winnipeg
And moved west when he was eight;
He completed his education there,
In sports, he loved to participate.

When he was attending university,
In his right leg, they discovered cancer;
To amputate above his knee,
Was the only apparent answer.

While he recovered from this operation,
An idea began to develop;
He would run a marathon across Canada,
 Called "The Marathon of Hope."

It was in April of nineteen-eighty,
That he began his Marathon of Hope;
He inspired people all around the world,
With a very distinctive lope.

He ran a marathon every day,
More than twenty-six gruelling miles;
No matter what the weather was like,
He faced it with a smile.

If someday you’re feeling low
And you’re really not having any fun;
Think of Terry Fox with only one leg
And his marathon every day run.

His goal was to raise 24 million dollars,
The population of Canada at the time;
So far over 800 million has been raised
And each year it continues to climb.

Terry Fox inspired millions of people,
All around Canada and beyond;
Because of his Marathon of Hope
And the foundation that it spawned.

Every year in the month of September,
All around the World people run;
To honour this Canadian hero
And to fight cancer for everyone.

He ran a total of 5,343 kilometres,
That’s more than 3,339 miles;
It was a tremendous achievement for Terry
And he knew it was all worthwhile.

The RCMP provided escort in the Maritimes,
In Ontario, it was the O.P.P. clan;
God bless these heroes of the highways,
Who watched over Terry as he ran.

There was road construction at Marathon,
So the road workers stepped up to the plate;
They paved the road for Terry,
Though they had to work very late.

They worked all night to pave the road,
Because a policeman asked them to;
And because it was for Terry Fox,
There is nothing they would not do.

After running halfway across Canada,
Terry’s health began to fail;
Near Thunder Bay on the Trans-Canada,
Is where his journey would curtail.

It was on this northern Ontario highway,
Where his Marathon came to an end;
Not far from the town of Marathon,
Down the road and around a bend.

It was on September first, nineteen-eighty,
When Terry had to stop;
He returned to his home in Vancouver
And postponed his now-famous hop.

When they took him to the hospital,
In Thunder Bay on September 1;
He said that he would never give up
And would be back to finish his run.

But Terry’s cancer had spread too far
And had gotten into his lungs;
He fought valiantly for nine more months,
As to his Marathon of Hope, he clung.

Terry died in June of eighty-one,
Just before his twenty-third birthday;
His faithful crew and his Econoline van,
Had followed him all of the way.

He was awarded the Order of Canada
And a mountain was named after him;
For his efforts in fighting this terrible disease,
So the outcome will be positive, not grim.

To all who have been affected by cancer
And I’m quite sure that most people have been;
Hopefully, one day there will be a cure,
So this battle we may win.

The Terry Fox Run is held in September,
Let’s support this worthy cause;
Come out with your friends and your family,
Make it the best run there ever was!

Bob Bartlett

North Bay

This year’s Terry Fox Run for cancer research is taking place on Sunday, Sept. 17.