This Week in History
The Beginning of the Marathon of Hope
|For the week of Monday April 12, 2010|
On April 12, 1980, Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He dipped his artificial foot in the Atlantic Ocean and began his cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research.
While undergoing chemotherapy, he learnt how innovative his treatment was, and came to realise the necessity of cancer research. He knew he was lucky when his cancer went into remission, while others around him did not survive. Terry knew he had to do something. He wanted to live a full life, but he couldn't forget those still suffering from cancer. He audaciously decided he would raise funds for cancer research by running across Canada. He called it the Marathon of Hope.
His initial goal was to increase public awareness of cancer and raise $1 million for cancer research. In Port-Aux-Basques, Newfoundland, however, he discovered the potential of his run. Given that this town of 10,000 people was able to raise $10,000, Fox now hoped to raise $1 for every Canadian citizen. He continued running west, drawing crowds of thousands of people and raising thousands of dollars.
He died on June 28 of the next year. Fundraising, however, had continued. People were so inspired by his Marathon of Hope that by the time of his death, more than $24 million had been raised.
Fundraising in his name continues today through the Terry Fox Foundation. The Terry Fox Run has become an annual tradition in Canada, and more than 30 other countries. So far, over $500 million has been raised for cancer research in his name.
In the course of 143 days, he had run 5,373 km, nearly a full marathon almost every day. For the heroism of his Marathon of Hope, for his athleticism and his highly personal and inspirational humanitarian and philanthropic purpose, Terry Fox was designated a National Historic Person in 2007.
For more information on Terry Fox and the Marathon of Hope, see the Terry Fox Foundation Web site: http://www.terryfox.org/.
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