5,373 km / 3,339 miles.
Incredible to remember that a young man from Port Coquitlam with a prosthetic leg was able to run that distance in under five months, while raising more than $1.7 million for cancer research.
And it was all because he believed in the generosity, soul and perseverance of Canadians, who have all been touched in some way by cancer at a point in their lives.
Sept. 1 is an important date on the Terry Fox Foundation's calendar as it was the last day the 22-year-old hero ran his Marathon of Hope.
On this day in 1980, Fox was forced to stop his cross-country quest after cancer appeared in his lungs, causing intense pain while trying to run by hundreds of supporters just outside of Thunder Bay, Ont.
While keeping his spirits up, he took a break and crawled into a sleeping bag in hopes the pain would go away.
But after clocking one more mile — ultimately his last — and making sure that no public member was in sight, Fox went back to the van that followed him along the journey and asked to go to the hospital.
"The day he stopped was the day we started," reads a statement from the Terry Fox Foundation.
And since that moment, the organization has brought in more than $850 million in funds for cancer research through various initiatives and regular donors around the world.
"Even from Terry’s hospital bed, he continued to talk about the importance of donating to cancer research," its websites reads, adding Fox created a powerful legacy that continues to this day.
"... He hoped his second diagnosis would help everyone understand that cancer could happen to anyone, even someone who had just raised over $1.7 million for research. But Terry never gave up hope that Canadians would respond to his story, to his effort… and he was right."
Fox died the following year on June 28, 1981.
He was buried in the Port Coquitlam cemetery, and you'll see his name at almost every corner of the city that calls the national icon their very own.
In October last year, city council revealed plans to commission another statue of the one-legged runner that'll be placed at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre (PCCC) — established at Terry Fox Hometown Square.
Terry Fox Run 2022
Meanwhile, the upcoming edition of the Terry Fox Run is set for Sept. 18, and fundraising has already begun in each Tri-Cities community, according to the Terry Fox Foundation.
As of this publication, the totals are as follows:
- Port Coquitlam
- Nearly $9,400, with a goal of $25,000
- Port Moody
- More than $1,200, with a goal of $4,000
- Nearly $900, with a goal of $10,000
In Port Coquitlam, the Terry Fox Run is set to take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. starting at Hyde Creek Recreation Centre (1379 Laurier Ave.), and interested participants are encouraged to either run, walk, bike, wheel or rollerblade the soon-to-be-revealed route.
Coquitlam will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting in Mundy Park. Its route is also to be announced soon.
Port Moody has yet to publish details of its Terry Fox Run, as of this publication.