Marathon of Hope: 4,901 kilometre mark in Wawa, Ont. (Terry Fox Foundation photo)

Canadian icon and hero Terry Fox died 38 years ago today

Historica Canada’s Heritage Minute dedicated to Terry Fox shows his journey of cancer awareness

Thirty-eight years ago today, Terry Fox died from a battle against osteosarcoma cancer, but not before captivating Canadians everywhere with his heroism and resilience.

In the many months prior, Fox had attempted to complete his Marathon of Hope to raise money and awareness for cancer research.

The Port Coquitlam native dipped his prosthetic leg in the Atlantic Ocean near St. John’s, N.L. on April 12, 1980, with the aim of running across Canada and finishing at the Pacific Ocean in Victoria, B.C.

He didn’t make it. He was forced to abandon his journey at Thunder Bay, Ont., because of pneumonia, caused by his cancer becoming metastatic and spreading to other parts of his body.

It was just after 4:30 a.m. on June 28, 1981, when Fox’s family shared the last few moments of his life while he remained in a coma at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. He was 22 years old.

“There was nation-wide mourning,” his biography on TerryFox.org reads. “Flags were flown at half-mast. But people didn’t forget him and his story didn’t end with his death.”

While his physical goal may not have been reached, Fox raised $23.4 million for cancer research.

The first Terry Fox Run was held that September. More than 300,000 people walked or ran or cycled in his memory and raised $3.5 million.

Since then, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $750 million towards finding cures for various cancers through donations and annual runs hosted across the world.

ALSO READ: Terry Fox’s iconic van front-and-centre at International Auto Show

This year’s run is set for Sept. 15, 2019. To find an event in your city, click here.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Online video series to feature writers from Tofino and Ucluelet

Quite Determined series launched to showcase creative minds whose speaking events were cancelled.

Ucluelet releases COVID-19 Recovery Plan

Part of the recovery plan involves deploying three district staff as COVID-19 Community Monitors

Tofino mayor urges “kindness” as tourism reopens

“Health and safety matters to everyone.”

Resorts in Tofino and Ucluelet prepare to reopen in June

“We need to get the tourist economy in our communities back up and running.”

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve plans limited reopening on June 4

The Park Reserve shut down on March 18 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read