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.

2005 TERRY FOX COIN

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.

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