Terry Fox Run Goes Virtual to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of the Marathon of Hope

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40 years ago today, Terry Fox wondered as he headed to Thunder Bay, Ont., If he could run the final stages of his Marathon of Hope.The searing pain from the tendonitis in the ankle he was battling was thankfully gone.

But now there was a pain in his chest that triggered coughing fits.

His diary would later reveal how the cheering crowds from the side of the road pushed Fox that day, until he could no longer run.

Terry Fox smiles from his bed at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, British Columbia, days after being forced to give up the Marathon of Hope. (Andy Clark / Canadian Press)

“There was a film crew waiting three-quarters of a mile to film me. I don’t think they even realized that they filmed my last mile, ”Fox wrote.

“… People were still saying, ‘You can do this, Terry.’ I started to think about these comments in this mile too. Yeah, I thought this might be my last. ”

The next day, doctors told Fox that the cancer that claimed his right leg had come back in his lungs.

After running one marathon a day for 143 days, his attempt to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research was over.

He died the following year, a month before his 23rd birthday. But his legacy was only beginning.

Terry Fox with some young fans during his cross-Canada run in 1980 to raise money for cancer research. (Submitted by Darrell Fox)

Four decades later, the Terry Fox Foundation announced that this year’s Terry Fox Run will also continue in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made annual community fundraising banned. A virtual version will therefore take place on September 20, on the theme “One Day. Your Way ”.

Organizers are asking people to sign up for terryfox.org “Walk, run, dance or hike a favorite route with your favorite people” while raising money for cancer research.

“Cancer doesn’t wait until the pandemic is over and neither can we,” said Ara Sahakian, Acting Executive Director of the Terry Fox Foundation.

Fred Fox says his little brother never would have believed that more than $ 800 million had been raised for cancer research on his behalf.

His goal when he started racing in April 1980 was to raise $ 24 million – one dollar for every Canadian.

“Our family is very grateful for the way Canadians embraced Terry and his mission and had an incredible impact on cancer research,” said Fred Fox.

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