Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981 file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981 file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP

‘Amazing legacy’: Terry Fox Run goes virtual for 40th anniversary of Marathon of Hope

Fred Fox said that even through the pandemic, people have reached out to see if they can participate

It’s been 40 years to the day that Terry Fox ended his Marathon of Hope in Thunder Bay. For his brother, Fred, it’s a day of reflection.

“Terry had started back on April 12, 1980, and made his way through the Maritime provinces, Quebec and stopped in Thunder Bay,” Fred told Black Press Media by phone Tuesday (Sept. 1).

Terry had ran 3,339 miles (5374 kilometres) in his journey, including 21 miles on that day, before acknowledging that he could no longer run; despite a leg amputation three years earlier, the cancer had returned and spread to his lungs. He died on June 28, 1981, at just 22 years old.

Fred said that every year on Sept. 1, the family is reminded of “the beginning of a wonderful, amazing legacy” that Terry left – one they weren’t always sure would last.

“In the early years, in early ’80s , our parents were told this is only going to last a few years,” he said. To date, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised more $800 million for cancer research, and the annual run is held in countries all over the world.

But this year, the run will look a little bit different. It will be held virtually on Sunday, Sept. 20, and has the option to track your run (or walk) through the MoveSpring app. Users can use the code TFF to register and join the Terry Fox Run challenge.

Fred said that while his family aims to celebrate Terry every year, they were heartened to hear the many questions about what would be happening with the run in 2020, even amid the pandemic.

“Even the last five months, with all of us dealing with COVID, people have said ‘what are we doing this September?’” Fred said.

“It’s so important to continue Terry’s dream and raise money for cancer research. As Terry said: even if I don’t finish, you’ve got to keep going without me.”

For cancer survivors and patients going through treatment, the run can be especially heartening this year. Both groups are at a higher risk for complications from COVID-19 but Fred said he’s heard that many of them will do the run in their own way.

“Many of them need to be careful in this COVID world… but they’re with their families and friends, in their bubble, getting out there.”

For his part, Fred said he and his family will take part in their own small run within their COVID-19 bubble. For Fred and his wife, who live in Maple Ridge, that means they will do the run with their three kids – and two special guests.

“I have two grand children and our youngest will be experiencing the Terry Fox Run for the first time.”

READ MORE: #FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

READ MORE: Abbotsford teenager doing Pedal of Hope with Terry Fox’s brother

READ MORE: ‘It’s amazing’: Fred Fox blown away as Terry Fox shoes, T-shirt sells out in minutes


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Terry Fox

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tourists are being asked to postpone their non-essential trips to Tofino as COVID-19 cases rise across Vancouver Island, but at least one accommodation provider is offering conflicting messaging. (Westerly file photo)
Victoria woman says Tofino Airbnb host encouraged travel despite provincial restrictions

“The only way I would get a refund is if she would be able to rebook the suite for that weekend.”

A sign outside Ucluelet’s Blue Room on Monday morning advises patrons that the restaurant has gone back to take-out only. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Some Ucluelet restaurants heading back to take-out only as COVID-19 concerns rise

Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel urges residents to be respectul of business owners’ decisions.

A sign at the entrance to Ty-Histanis asks visitors to stay out of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation announces lockdown after member tests positive for COVID-19

Essential travel only and restricted to Tofino and Ucluelet.

Tofino Sea Kayaking staff Sable Trafton holds a gift card they are contributing ‘12 Days of Jingle’ draw. One lucky local will has the chance to win $500 worth of gift cards to local merchants. (TLCC photo)
Tofino’s 12 Days of Jingle kicks off holiday season

“We wanted to do it early so people could make purchases and send them wherever they need to go.”

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Most Read