More than 9,000 communities across Canada hosted a Terry Fox Run in honour of the Canadian icon to raise money for the Terry Fox Foundation. The event, named after the Canadian who ran 5,373 kilometres over 143 days in 1980 in what is known as the Marathon of Hope, was held on Sept. 18.
Canadian Running was at the Burlington, Ont. event on Sunday. During the Marathon of Hope, Fox was forced to stop outside of Thunder Bay, Ont. after cancer spread to his lungs. He passed away on June 28, 1981 at 22.
“Burlington may not have been the beginning or the end of the Marathon of Hope,” reads the Terry Fox monument in the southern Ontario city. “But it is proud to have been part of the journey.”
Fox, who had his right leg amputated due to bone cancer, ran on a prosthetic leg and began the Marathon of Hope on the East Coast and headed west. The Winnipeg-born runner wanted to raise $1 from each of the 24 million Canadians at the time. To date, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $700 million for cancer research.
“It’s amazing how it (Terry Fox and the Marathon of Hope) has been webbed into Canadian culture,” says Casey Cosgrove, the vice-president of Lung Cancer Canada and a lung cancer survivor himself.
Interview with Cosgrove
Runners and walkers of all abilities took part in the Burlington event on Sunday including those taking part for the first time and others running and walking for their 23rd time.
One family who shared their story said they have been coming to the event for six years after a friend passed away from cancer. The man also emphasized that the Terry Fox Run offers the chance to spend time with family and come together for a good cause.
Another man who had surgery just two weeks prior did the entire 5K on crutches.