OTD: National telethon raises $10 million for Marathon of Hope

On today’s date in 1980, a national telethon supporting Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope raised more than $10 million for cancer research.

While Fox, a Winnipeg native, died in 1981, the preceding 12 months saw the 20-year-old man collect money from Canadians along the side of the road—from the east coast to the west. He also received funding and supplies from the Canadian Cancer Society, among other organizations.

Fox began his marathon on April 12, 1980, when he dipped his leg in the Atlantic Ocean before starting towards Vancouver on Canada’s Pacific coast; however, his health began deteriorating near the halfway mark.

On Sept. 1, Fox asked to go to the hospital because of chest pain, and doctors later discovered his cancer had spread to his lungs.

5,373 KM, $11M

Fox ran 5,373 kilometres in 143 days and raised more than $11 million for cancer research.

Shortly after the end of Fox’s run – on Sept. 7, 1980 – CTV held the telethon to raise another $10 million.

By February 1981, donations hit $24.17 million, reaching Fox’s goal of receiving $1 for each of Canada’s 24 million residents.

Since its inception in 1981, the Terry Fox Run has raised more than $750 million via the Terry Fox Foundation.


In 2005, the Royal Canadian Mint struck a $1 coin commemorating Terry Fox.

Designed by artist Stan Witten, the coin’s reverse depicts Fox running with a Canadian landscape in the background.

The obverse features the uncrowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The coin has a weight of seven grams, a diameter of 26.5 millimetres, a 1.75-millimetre thickness and a mintage of 20,000 pieces.

Leave a Reply

Canadian Coin News


Canadian Coin News is Canada's premier source of information about coins, notes and medals.

Although we cover the entire world of numismatics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

Send Us Your Event

Running an event? Send it to us and we will display it on Canadian Coin News!

Submit Event →

Subscribe To 26 Issues For Just $59.99/year

Subscribe today to receive Canada's premier coin publication. Canadian Coin News is available in both paper and digital forms.

Subscribe Now

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.