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.
2005 TERRY FOX COIN
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.