Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
This moving docudrama on a man whose courage raised $20,000,000 for a worthy cause is also an honest look at the nature of determination. When Canadian Terry Fox was diagnosed with cancer in 1977, his right leg was amputated and rather than simply battle depression, Fox decided to run his own cross-country marathon (5,150 miles) to raise money for cancer research. His parents, his doctor, and his friends opposed the idea but he persisted, convincing a friend with a camper to come along with him (or he could never have made the run). Fox starts at the Atlantic Ocean off Newfoundland, and with only a few supporters and very little fanfare, begins his odyssey. The amputee's human failings are clear: he is egocentric, impatient, short-tempered, and verges on the suicidal in forcing his endurance to the limit. As Fox's mental and emotional state is stretched at the beginning of the run, his friend driving the van has to call on his own reserves to stay with him. No one pays very much attention to Fox as he moves slowly through Quebec, but by the time he reaches Ontario, the Canadians start to notice his heroic effort. The Ontario Cancer Society representative, Bill Vigars (Robert Duvall), moves in like a steamroller to set up more sponsors, media events, and receptions. Fox is suddenly forced into the limelight, having to give speeches in front of huge audiences for the first time in his young life (he is 21). About half-way through his now well-publicized journey, Fox collapses and it becomes clear that his dream will have to end -- but not before he inspired millions of others to donate to cancer research.
amputation, running, athlete, fundraiser, cancer