The run began with little attention on April 12, 1980.
That was the day Terry Fox, from his starting point in St. John’s, Newfoundland, began his Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer research.
The young man from Port Coquitlam, B.C. knew something about cancer. He had lost his right leg to the disease in 1977. During his time in hospital, where he was moved by the suffering endured by other cancer patients, his dream of running across Canada to help fund cancer research was born.
Terry’s run was never completed. It ended Sept. 1, 1980 in Ontario, stopped by the cancer which had returned and spread to his lungs. But by then he had run more than 5,000 kilometres through six provinces and had captured the nation’s attention, as well as Canadians’ hearts.
Today, the dream Terry Fox began has been taken to heights he couldn’t have imagined at the time. Terry Fox Runs are held in more than 9,000 communities across Canada as well as in other countries around the world. Countless schools across the country hold Terry Fox Runs, too. By 2016, the Terry Fox Foundation established in Terry’s name reached the $715-million mark in funds contributed to cancer research.
Lethbridge is one of the communities carrying on the legacy of Terry Fox. The 39th annual Lethbridge Terry Fox Community Run will be held Sunday, Sept. 15 at the Civic Centre Track, featuring special guest Fred Fox, Terry’s brother.
The event includes registration at 11 a.m., with the run starting at noon. There’s no entry fee to participate, though participants are encouraged to donate or raise money for cancer research.
The run is open to everyone of all ages. Participants are welcome to walk, run, rollerblade or cycle. It’s a pet-friendly and wheelchair friendly event.
For more information, email email@example.com or register online at http://www.terryfox.ca/terryfoxrun/lethbridge.
During his Marathon of Hope, Terry Fox averaged the equivalent of a full marathon — 42 kilometres (26 miles) — every day for 143 days. Such an accomplishment would be a challenge for an able-bodied person, never mind someone with an artificial leg. But Terry Fox was an extraordinary human being.
It was Terry’s dream that his run would succeed in raising $1 for every Canadian — at the time, 24 million of them. The dream was realized by Feb. 1, 1981, when the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope fund totalled $24.17 million, even though his run had officially ended five months earlier. Terry died in June 1981 at the age of 22.
Terry’s legacy continues to grow. In October 2007, the Terry Fox Research Institute was launched at the impetus of the Terry Fox Foundation. Working to improve the outcomes of cancer research through a highly collaborative, team-oriented approach, the institute collaborates with more than 70 cancer hospitals and research organizations across Canada. It also functions as the research arm of The Terry Fox Foundation, with headquarters in Vancouver and regional nodes in Atlantic Canada, the Prairies, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. In 2017-18, the Terry Fox Foundation invested an estimated $21.8 million in cancer research.
Find out more about Terry Fox and the Terry Fox Foundation online at http://www.terryfox.org.