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  • Writer's pictureCarey Tate

The Terry Fox Run has remained the epitome of Canadian strength for 42 years.

September 18 is the annual Terry Fox Run. Canadians commemorate the legendary Terry Fox and continue his legacy as they raise money for cancer research. Walk through his journey, courtesy of the Terry Fox Foundation's archives.

PHOTO: The Terry Fox Foundation.

From left to right, Fred Fox, Terry's older brother (pictured with sister Judith Fox), famous NHLer Sidney Crosby, and actress Rachel McAdams are supporting the Terry Fox Foundation this year.

Terry Fox lost his leg to osteogenic sarcoma at age 18, underwent 16 months of treatment, and found he could not ignore the suffering he witnessed in the cancer wards. Terry decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research in a Marathon of Hope. Fox's brother Darrell Fox joined Terry, and Terry's best friend Doug Alward drove in the van behind him as they followed along. He stopped in more than 400 towns, schools, and cities to talk about why he was running. He started at 4:30 am and often did not finish his last mile until 7 pm.

PHOTO: The Terry Fox Foundation

Terry recounted his relentless ambition and drive: "Today we got up at 4:00 am. As usual, it was tough. If I died, I would die happy because I was doing what I wanted to do. How many people could say that? I went out and did fifteen push-ups on the road and took off. I want to set an example that will never be forgotten."


Some days he would run unaccompanied, and on others, hundreds would come out to cheer him on, run with him, and reporters would follow him on his journey. Here are some of the moments that shaped his incredible athletic feat.

#OnThisDay – April 12, 1980 – St. John’s, NL “Today is the day it all begins…” His story began on April 12, 1980. According to Parks Canada, Terry brought an empty glass bottle to a small beach in Outer Cove and filled it with Atlantic seawater. He planned to pour the jug of water into the Pacific Ocean at the end of his run, symbolically connecting the country from coast to coast.

PHOTO: The Terry Fox Foundation

#OnThisDay – May 24, 1980 – PEI After reaching the 1,000-mile mark of his run, Terry’s first day in Prince Edward Island came with another exciting achievement. The Marathon of Hope had officially raised $100,000 for cancer research!

PHOTO: The Terry Fox Foundation

#OnThisDay – June 10, 1980 - Notre-Dame-du-Lac, QC Allo Québec! Terry had now run through four provinces in 60 days. "Today I felt good at the start. The first nine miles took me to the Québec New Brunswick border. Four (provinces) down!”

PHOTO: The Terry Fox Foundation

#OnThisDay – July 1, 1980 – Ottawa, ON Even on a national holiday, Terry did not stop running. "I did seven miles and then eight more. After that I went to the Ottawa - Saskatchewan game, where I kicked off the opening ball to a standing ovation."

PHOTO: The Terry Fox Foundation

#OnThisDay – July 11, 1980 – Toronto, ON Terry ran in to Nathan Phillips Square with thousands cheering. “If you’ve given a dollar, you are part of the Marathon of Hope. That ovation was for you, wherever you are in Canada.”

PHOTO: The Terry Fox Foundation

#OnThisDay – August 30, 1980, Terry ran on the part of the Trans-Canada Highway that was renamed the Terry Fox Courage Highway. "On my run, I thought about the meaning of life. It's not wealth or fame. When I got emotional, it was because I was happy."

PHOTO: The Terry Fox Foundation

#OnThisDay-September 1, 1980, Terry ran his last mile of the Marathon of Hope. In intense pain, Terry later called his parents and told them his cancer had returned.

PHOTO: The Terry Fox Foundation

The official Montréal Terry Fox Run in the Old Port raised over $200,000 in honour of Terry. The John Abbott College Terry Fox run amassed $5,858 this year for the Foundation, with the official Terry Fox School Run to be held on September 23rd, when educational institutions all across the country will be running for the cause. The run is symbolic of Terry Fox's 143-day run across 5,373 kilometers (3,339 miles) from St-John's, Newfoundland, to Thunder Bay, Ontario.

#OnThisDay - June 28, 1981 The world lost Terry Fox when he passed due to cancer. “I’ve said to people before that I’m going to do my very best to make it. If I don’t, the Marathon of Hope better continue.”

PHOTO: The Terry Fox Foundation

To help realize Terry's dream, visit:

SOURCE: The Terry Fox Foundation

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