Writing this book on the inductees into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame is really making me feel….hmmm……crappy, good, inspired, sad, excited, tired, restless and down right determined. You can’t imagine the stories I am researching and writing. Ok…The Terry Fox Hall of Fame (which is no longer called that…but I won’t get in to the details of that because I have nothing nice to say on that matter….) celebrates individuals, able bodied and disabled who have overcome tremendous obstacles and made a significant difference in this life. I am super proud that my brother is one of them, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010. He’s a double arm amputee that has enabled me to bulldoze my way through life with no excuses with a will that can’t be broken.
Many of the inductees have passed on, but their stories should not be forgotten. War Veterans from World War I, have changed the way society views and treats the disabled. Rick Hansen became a household name, Jeff Healy played his way into the Hall of Fame. A principal from a school in Quebec refused to allow a disabled student sit on the sidelines during an annual ski trip to the Laurentians. So he spent months designing and building an apparatus that allowed this kid to ski with his class. Today, that principal runs a charitable foundation that teaches people with disabilities to ski and some of those have gone on to the Paralympics. David Onley and Joanne Smith who broke down barriers and became successful reporters in a field that was virtually off limits to people with disabilities. Jeff Adams, the wheelchair racer who became the face of MacDonald’s. The stories are endless…believe me. I should be writing them now with a deadline looming over my head… instead of this…but sometimes I get a bit distracted and awe-struck.
Over 90 inductees over the course of 30 years. If I had my way, I would insist that these people are studied in every classroom- in every school- in every town. I truly believe the world would be a better place.
Here’s another quote that inspires one of the inductees: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. (Stephen Grellet)