Born:

July 28, 1958

(Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Died:

June 28, 1981

Education:

Port Coquitlam High School

Awards & Honours:

1980: Companion of the Order of Canada

1980: Order of the Dogwood, British Columbia

See All Awards
Picture of Terry Fox

Raised millions of dollars for cancer research and inspired countless others to follow

Terry Fox

An inspirational role model

Even at an early age, Terry Fox’s dreams seemed bigger than his ability to achieve them. In Grade eight, he worked hard to make his school basket team, and, despite his small size, accomplished his task. After being diagnosed with a rare bone cancer at the age of 18, Terry again set his sights high. For one magnificent summer, an entire nation ran stride for painful stride with a young man whose desire was to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research, and in doing so, to meet the challenge of the disease that took his leg. Terry Fox did that, calling his dream the Marathon of Hope and uniting a nation around a common cause. And although the cancer he so bravely fought took his life, his legacy was just the beginning.

Key Facts

Ran close to a marathon—42 kilometres—every day for 143 days and 5,373 kilometers

Realized his dream of raising $1 dollar for ever Canada-- $24.17 million

As of 2020, $800 million dollars has been raised for cancer research in Terry’s name

There are 15 highways and roads, 14 schools, and one mountain named for Terry Fox

Professional timeline

Impact on lives today

Today, hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised for cancer research through the Terry Fox Run held in thirty countries around the world. With this funding, the Terry Fox Foundation continues Terry’s work, supporting cure-oriented, biomedical cancer research worldwide. Forty years later, Terry’s Marathon of Hope continues to inspire others with his message that everyone has the ability to make a difference.

Picture of Terry Fox

2012

  • Terry Fox painting

    Last print of the famous Cliff Kearns painting of Terry Fox was donated to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

    Arranged by the families of the artist and Ron Calhoun, the man who engineered the Marathon of Hope and knew Terry well

  • Rolly Fox

    Terry Fox posthumously inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

    Represented by his father Rolly Fox in Toronto, Ontario

  • TFRI

    Terry Fox Research Institute comes into being

    Created by the Terry Fox Foundation to overcome barriers of discipline and geography in conducting cancer research

  • Terry was voted Canada’s Greatest Hero

  • Simon Fraser University awarded Terry the first annual Terry Fox Gold Medal.

    It is awarded annually to a student showing courage in the face of adversity.

  • 5,373 Kilometres

    Sadly, just outside Thunder Bay, Terry was forced to stop running because cancer had appeared in his lung. He passed away the following June at the age of 22.

  • Marathon of Hope

    Public Health, Health Promotion & Advocacy

    Terry commenced his run in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He dipped his artificial leg in the harbour and began his journey.

  • A Role Model

    More than a survivor, Terry took on the task of being a role model and inspiration. In 1979, he began training to run across Canada.

  • Confronting Challenges

    At the age of 18, Terry was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (a rare bone cancer) and was forced to have his right leg amputated 15 cm above the knee. He learned to wear an artificial leg and began a grueling 16-month course of chemotherapy.

1977

Dreams are made if people try.