Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of the day Terry Fox started his Marathon of Hope.
Terry, a cancer patient and amputee, became a national icon with his 1980 attempt to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.
The 22-year-old made it more than 5,300 kilometres and six provinces, from St. John’s, N.L., to Thunder Bay, Ont., before cancer spread to his lungs and forced him to cut the run short. Ten months later, the disease took his life.
Since then, his legacy has grown to include Terry Fox Runs around the world, raising millions of dollars to fight cancer.
“Terry was an innovator, fundraiser, athlete, humanitarian, and an inspiration to us all,” said a press release Friday.
Terry’s older brother Fred told Global News the coronavirus pandemic has caused some plans to be cancelled on Sunday, but said he hopes Canadians will mark the anniversary buy posting photos of themselves in Terry Fox memorabilia on social media.
Fred said he hopes Canadians will take the time to remember Terry and his mission.
In February, there were calls to put Terry’s face on the Canadian $5 bill. Nominations closed March 11 and Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau will make the final decision.
Supporters from across the country, as well as from Terry’s hometown in Port Coquitlam, B.C., mounted the campaign.
The Terry Fox Foundation has 10 offices and 45 full-time staff across Canada, along with thousands of volunteers who help to organize more than 9,000 Terry Fox Fundraising events each year.
The foundation has raised over $800 million and has funded 1300 research programs.
—With files from Simon Little