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Terry Fox: Marathon of Hope

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Terry Fox was raised in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, a community near Vancouver on Canada’s West Coast. As an active teenager, he was always involved in many sports, and showed a tremendous amount of determination. At the young age of 18, Terry was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma, or more commonly known as bone cancer. As a result, he was forced to have his right leg amputated above the knee in 1977.

During his time in the hospital Terry was overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, and found strength and courage in his desire to help others overcome their pain. After a vigorous training regime, 18 months and 5,000km (3,107 miles), Terry had decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research, calling his journey the Marathon of Hope.

On April 12th, 1980 he dipped his artificial leg in the shores of St. John’s, Newfoundland and began. He ran close to  42 kilometers (26 miles) a day through Canada’s Atlantic Provinces, Quebec and Ontario. Although it was difficult to attract attention in the beginning, enthusiasm soon grew, and money was slowly collected. Terry Fox became an inspiration to those young and old.

On September 1st, after 143 days, 5,374 kilometers (3,339 miles), Terry was forced to stop running 12 kilometers east of Thunder Bay, Ontario because the cancer has appeared in his lungs. An entire nation was stunned and saddened. He passed on June 18th, 1981 at the age of 22.

To date the Terry Fox Foundation has raised over 600 million dollars worldwide for cancer research through the annual Terry Fox Run.

Learn more about Terry Fox’s inspiring journey, by visiting the Terry Fox Information Centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario. 

 Marathon of Hope