I don't normally post speeches from the Legislature, but this particular speech caught my attention today, especially when Mike Farnworth mentioned that he was a classmate of Terry Fox. I hope you find the same challenge and inspiration from it that I did today!
This week we mark the anniversary of an astonishing achievement by one of our greatest British Columbians and Canadians. Thirty years ago, on the 12th of April in 1980, Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope by dipping his artificial leg into St. John's harbour.
All of us know the rest of Terry's remarkable story. His goal was to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research, and he pursued his goal for 143 gruelling days. He eventually had to stop outside Thunder Bay, Ontario because he was too sick to continue. The cancer that he had been fighting had returned.
It was a remarkable achievement, and I'd like to put those numbers into a bit of perspective for all of us in this room and in the gallery. Running for 143 days straight, no day off, running an average of 42 kilometres each day. Just so we can all appreciate that, that's like each of us getting up tomorrow, putting on your sweats and your running shoes and then going outside to run a marathon, and then the next day and then the next day and doing it over and over and over again for 143 days.
Are you tired even just thinking about it? But Terry did it for 4½ months. His run was a testament to the spirit of the individual, but more important than that, it showed us that it's ordinary people who achieve remarkable and extraordinary things.
I was at school with Terry. We were in the same class in junior high school. He was just a regular kid just like everybody else in that classroom, but he went on to achieve true greatness — greatness that wasn't thrust upon him, but greatness that came from inside him.
He had a heart and a determination to achieve his goal and his dream. He did that day in and day out, and that is why his legacy lives on. But more important than that, and just as important as the battle to fight cancer, is the lesson for us that it's within each of us with our determination to make dreams like his a reality.