Tonight, the CBC will unveil the results of their Greatest Canadian poll. I know the whole concept is silly, but I've been watching with great interest. I even tuned in last night to watch the advocates battle on behalf of their top ten nominees.
I'd like to see Terry Fox named the Greatest Canadian. Terry Fox was a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, who was diagnosed with cancer in his right leg in 1977 at the age of 18. Two years later he began training for a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research. On April 12, 1980 he began his journey in St. John's, Newfoundland, running an average of 43 kms (26 miles) a day through six provinces. On September 1st, after 143 days and 5,565 kms (3,339 miles), Terry was forced to stop running outside Thunder Bay, Ontario because his cancer had spread to his lungs. He died less than a year later, on June 28, 1981, a month short of his 23rd birthday.
Terry Fox is a true Canadian hero. When dealt a lethal blow by life, his spirit triumphed in truly heroic fashion. I remember cheering Terry on during his 143 day run and feeling the sadness when he was forced to stop before succumbing to his cancer. Terry touched each and every one of us during his brief life. The annual Terry Fox Run brings in over $14 million yearly for cancer research. Visit http://www.terryfoxrun.org for more information.
I'm not discrediting the contributions made by Frederick Banting, Alexander Graham Bell and Tommy Douglas, I'm just rooting for Terry.