Canadians in 800 communities took to the streets today in 1981 for the first Terry Fox Run to raise money for cancer research.
Hundreds of thousands of Canadians and others across the globe will be hitting the streets tomorrow, Sept. 14, for the 33rd Terry Fox Run.
Stamps and coins honouring Terry Fox have been issued in recent years by Canada Post and the Royal Canadian Mint.
Born at Winnipeg, Manitoba, July 28, 1958., Fox grew up in Port Coquitlam, B.C. In 1977, while studying physical education at Simon Fraser University, he was afflicted with osteogenic sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, and lost his right leg 15 cm above the knee. Fitted with an artificial limb of fiberglass and steel, he learned to walk, drive a car and play golf.
Inspired by the suffering of children with cancer in the hospital, he decided to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society by running across Canada. He started his cross-Canada Marathon of Hope in St. John’s on April 12, 1980 to raise money to fight the disease. Before he had to end the marathon September 1, in Thunder Bay, when cancer was discovered in his lungs, he had run almost 5400 km, and raised over $1.7 million.
On September 19, 1980, in Port Coquitlam, Governor General Ed Schreyer invested Terry as a Companion of the Order of Canada, the youngest person so honoured.
Terry Fox gave up his fight on June 28, 1981 in New Westminster, BC, and flags across Canada were lowered to half mast in his honour.
The Terry Fox Foundation says 84 cents of every dollar raised goes towards cancer research.
To date, over $650 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry’s name.