Something happened to me last night. I read these words by my friend in Burbank, California, Jim Murtha:
‘I had the honour of speaking with Sean (Sean Swarmer, cancer survivor) in Washington DC in 2007, and have been changed ever since. It is my dream to one day hook up with Stu and do something fantastic with his (Sean’s) cancer climber organisation back home. Until then I remind myself that no one can tell me what I can’t do. They can suggest what I shouldn’t do, and even then I am under no obligation to take their advice.’
A little background about my friend is that he is a cancer survivor, not once but on two occasions. His incredible story is discussed here. The forum question that Jim was replying to was ‘What impresses you?’ Apart from being remembered by Jim in such a way (I genuinely and humbly don’t understand how I would have an effect on someone in such a way) it led me to thinking of my own hero, Terry Fox. I can’t think about what that young man did without getting very emotional. It strikes me to the marrow of my very bones. Even as I write here I can feel myself welling up with tears. This is not necessarily a bad thing though as I am able to take a lot of strength and inspiration from what the young man born in Winnipeg,Manitoba and brought up in British Columbia did. For those that are not familiar with Terry’s story and his ‘Marathon of Hope’ it can be read here There is a longer more detailed version of this unbelievable story here Top Ten Greatest Canadians.
‘I’m not a dreamer, and I’m not saying this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to.’
My immediate thoughts were of shame, when comparing my problems with his. I know this is not the point though, the point is in taking his lesson and using it for ourselves. I feel different today after reminding myself of the story of this great young man. I have allowed myself to descend to many depths of late but just watching the Terry Fox footage and hearing from my old Internet friend in such a kindly way has made me think differently. I have problems with the tasks placed in front of me like we all do, of that there is no doubt, but I now own a different perspective – one that will not allow lesser things and lesser people control the way I think. I don’t think there is anything that can stop me or any of us if we are determined enough.
‘One morning I woke up and I couldn’t get out of bed. That day they told me that I had a malignant tumor and that I had to have my leg amputated in four days. And I decided after my year-and-a-half of my chemotherapy, that I’d try and run across Canada and raise as much money as I could for the Canadian Cancer Society’.
‘I remember promising myself that should I live I would prove myself deserving of life.’