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Remembering the ‘Marathon of Hope’

On April 12, 1980, Terry Fox set out on his historic Marathon of Hope.

kevin
Kevin Grech
13 April 2015, 2:53pm
Terry Fox
Terry Fox
When Terry Fox began his iconic Marathon of Hope from Newfoundland and Labrador 35 years ago Sunday, Canada's population stood at just over 24 million.

A few hours before Fox embarked on his run, he brought an empty glass bottle to a small beach in Outer Cove, N.L., and filled it with water from the Atlantic Ocean. He planned to pour the jug of water into the Pacific Ocean at the end of his run, symbolically connecting our country from coast to coast.

A few hours before Fox embarked on his run, he brought an empty glass bottle to a small beach in Outer Cove, N.L., and filled it with water from the Atlantic Ocean. He planned to pour the jug of water into the Pacific Ocean at the end of his run, symbolically connecting our country from coast to coast.
A few hours before Fox embarked on his run, he brought an empty glass bottle to a small beach in Outer Cove, N.L., and filled it with water from the Atlantic Ocean. He planned to pour the jug of water into the Pacific Ocean at the end of his run, symbolically connecting our country from coast to coast.
 

The B.C. native, who inspired the nation with his determination and humility, was convinced that if each of us gave a dollar, $24 million would be raised for cancer research. Fox reached that goal in February 1981 and since then, The Terry Fox Foundation has raised more $700 million.

About Terry Fox
Terry Fox was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and raised in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, a community near Vancouver on Canada's west coast. An active teenager involved in many sports, Terry was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) and forced to have his right leg amputated 15 centimetres (six inches) above the knee in 1977.

Terry Fox meets with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in Ottawa on July 2, 1980.
Terry Fox meets with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in Ottawa on July 2, 1980.
While in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.

He would call his journey the Marathon of Hope.

It was a journey that Canadians and the world will never forgot.

After 18 months and running over 5,000 kilometres (3,107 miles) to prepare, Terry started his run in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980 with little fanfare. Although it was difficult to garner attention in the beginning, enthusiasm soon grew, and the money collected along his route began to mount. He ran close to 42 kilometres (26 miles) a day through Canada's Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario. However, on September 1st, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles), Terry was forced to stop running outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario because cancer had appeared in his lungs.

An entire nation was stunned and saddened. Terry passed away on June 28, 1981 at the age 22.

The heroic Canadian was gone, but his legacy was just beginning.

Canadian hockey legend Darryl Sittler presents Terry Fox with the Canadian All-Star hockey team shirt
Canadian hockey legend Darryl Sittler presents Terry Fox with the Canadian All-Star hockey team shirt
To date, over $700 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry's name through the annual Terry Fox Run, held across Canada and around the world.

To learn about Terry Fox and his charity

Facebook: facebook.com/TheTerryFoxFoundation

Official website: www.terryfox.org

kevin
Kevin Grech is MaltaToday's sports editor. He has been the designer of MaltaToday's print ...
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