Terry Fox, a twenty-two year old student of Simon Fraser University in Canada contracted bone cancer in 1977.
Terry’s right leg was amputated.
Hearing of his sinking spirits and miserable condition Terry’s former basketball coach sent-in an article to a popular newspaper on an amputee who ran in the New York marathon.
Inspired by the story, Terry, with one leg, challenged himself to take part in a 5,000 mile marathon from Newfoundland to British Columbia in Canada.
But before he took the challenge, he announced requests for sponsorship to raise donations for cancer research in the interest of thousands of suffering cancer patients.
For 18 months he practiced the run with one leg, doing the donation-drive.
On April 12, 1980 when he was about to embark on the marathon he already had pledges of over one million dollars as donations.
After 3,000 miles of running for 114 days, Terry collapsed during the marathon with cancer spreading to his lungs.
With news of his hospitalisation spreading all over the world, over 24 million dollars poured in for his treatment and for his cancer-research drive.
But he chose to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.
No matter what our condition is, God knows that each of us have the immense potential to become light for those in darkness.
God has a purpose for each of us. Saint Paul, in his letter to the Romans writes “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).When troubles surround us and the darkness seems to engulf us, we can still light a candle that will bring light into the lives of others. God can turn the most difficult moments in our lives into a blessing for others if we choose to offer our sufferings to Him instead of cursing our condition.
When we do this, even sufferings begin to seem to us only for a fleeting moment.
Terry began to experience this when donations kept pouring in for cancer-research.
He could see a rainbow of hope for millions of cancer patients amidst the stormy cloud of his life. True to what Mother Teresa once said “There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter.
We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.”
We can draw strength from what Lebanese artist, poet and writer Khalil Gibran said “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars”.
When you are breaking-up, remember rain comes from broken clouds, grain from broken ground and bread from broken grain.