Yusuf Hirji, an 18-year old from Pickering, has survived more obstacles than most of us are given in a lifetime. And he’s done it all with a smile on his face.
Yusuf was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, in 2012. If some of you are wondering why osteosarcoma sounds so familiar, it’s because it is the same kind of cancer that affected another Canadian hero, Terry Fox.
While Terry took to the road to raise money for cancer research and awareness, Yusuf has taken to the stage as a youth ambassador for the Terry Fox Foundation, a role that allows him to speak to students across many schools and share his experience, insight and hope for the future of cancer research.
“I don’t know what necessarily inspired me to do this, it just kind of happened,” said Yusuf. “I mean, once I started doing it, I wanted to keep on doing it, and I love public speaking, so it was important to me.”
He began speaking shortly after he was diagnosed, travelling to local schools to talk about the Terry Fox Foundation and his personal experience.