Terry Fox Day

Terry Fox Day Quick Facts

2024 DateAugust 5, 2024
2025 DateAugust 4, 2025

Terry Fox Day

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Terry Fox Day History

Terry Fox Day celebrates the life and legacy of Canadian cancer research activist and athlete, Terry Fox. The day aims to raise awareness about the importance of cancer research and to honor the determination and courage displayed by Terry during his Marathon of Hope. Terry Fox Day serves as a reminder of Terry's incredible contributions, perseverance, and the ongoing battle against cancer.

Terry Fox was a young Canadian athlete who, after losing his right leg to cancer, embarked on a cross-country marathon in 1980, known as the Marathon of Hope. His goal was to raise money and awareness for cancer research by running across Canada on a prosthetic leg. Unfortunately, Terry's journey was cut short when cancer spread to his lungs, and he succumbed to the disease in 1981. However, his efforts inspired millions of people across Canada and around the world, leading to the creation of the Terry Fox Foundation and the annual Terry Fox Run. The run has raised over $800 million for cancer research, making it one of the largest single-day fundraisers for cancer research worldwide.

Terry Fox Day is observed every year across the country in various ways. Many schools and community groups organize events to spread awareness about cancer and to encourage people to donate to cancer research. The Terry Fox Run, which is the most significant event of the day, typically takes place on the second Sunday of September in numerous cities across Canada. Participants walk, run, or cycle in the non-competitive event to continue Terry's dream and raise funds for cancer research.

Top facts about Terry Fox Day

  • Fox was forced to stop his Marathon of Hope on September 1, 1980, after 143 days and covering 5,373 kilometers (approximately 3,339 miles) when his cancer spread to his lungs.

  • Terry Fox is the youngest Canadian to ever receive the Companion of the Order of Canada. This award is the highest level of the Order of Canada. It recognizes those who have demonstrated the highest level of merit to Canada and humanity.
  • Terry Fox was posthumously inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1981.
  • Since the first Terry Fox Run in 1981, more than $800 million has been raised for cancer research through Terry Fox Foundation events in over 25 countries.
  • At the age of 18, Terry was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. As a result, his right leg was amputated six inches above the knee in 1977.
  • Running on his prosthetic leg, Terry aimed to cover approximately 42 km (26 miles) every day, equivalent to a full marathon.

Top things to do for Terry Fox Day

  • Sign up for the next Terry Fox Run and help raise money for cancer research.
  • Visit the Terry Fox: Running to the Heart of Canada exhibit at the Canadian Museum of History. Learn more about Terry Fox and his inspirational story.
  • Discover ways to give back to your community.
  • Visit the Terry Fox National Historic Site in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, which celebrates Fox's legacy and achievements.
  • Donate to the Terry Fox Foundation, which funds cancer research in Canada and around the world.

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