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 prior 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 coast. 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, Fox’s health began deteriorating near the halfway mark, and on Sept. 1, he asked to go to the hospital because of chest pain. Doctors later discovered Fox’s cancer had spread to his lungs.

5,373KM & $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, CTV held a telethon that raised another $10 million.

By February of 1981, donations hit $24.17 million, reaching Fox’s goal of $1 for each of Canada’s 24 million residents. Since its inception in 1981, the Terry Fox Run has raised more than $650 million via the Terry Fox Foundation.


In 2005, the Royal Canadian Mint struck a $1 coin commemorating Terry Fox. The coin has a weight of seven grams, a diameter of 26.5 mm, a 1.75-mm thickness and a mintage of 20,000. The reverse design, by artist Stan Witten, depicts Fox running with a Canadian landscape in the background. The obverse features the uncrowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

Leave a Reply

Keep up to date with the numismatic community

Sign up to receive our newsletter.

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 $47.99/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.