By Submitted Article on November 3, 2020.
By Bobbie Fox
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope. When he was 19 years old, Terry’s right leg was amputated due to bone cancer. Once he went into remission, he decided he wanted to help others with cancer. He was inspired by the courage of the children and adults he met while he was in the cancer ward of the hospital.
He also read about a runner who had recently run a marathon who, like him, had only one biological leg. Terry launched the “Marathon of Hope.”
Terry committed to running the length of a marathon (42.2 kilmetres or 26.2 miles) every day until he crossed Canada with the aim of raising funds for cancer research and raising awareness of the disease that affected people everywhere. The Marathon of Hope began in Newfoundland on April 12, 1980. Sadly, at the beginning of September 1980, the cancer had come out of remission and was affecting his lungs. He was forced to pause his Marathon of Hope. Terry passed away on June 28, 1981.
Terry’s efforts succeeded at raising both awareness and funds for research, but his story also inspired Canadians across the country. Lethbridge residents raised money and recruited friends and family to spread Terry’s message of hope, courage and willingness to try.
The first Terry Fox Fundraising Run was held in Lethbridge on Sept. 14, 1980. After 40 years, Lethbridge residents continue to organize and participate in runs to raise funds. Terry requested that all funds raised through these runs go towards cancer research, so the runs are organized by local volunteers. As of the 2020 Lethbridge run, organizers and participants have raised $470,850.
The exhibit “Marathon of Memories: 40 Years of Terry Fox Runs in Lethbridge” is on display now at the Galt Museum & Archives until Feb. 21, 2021.
Your old photos, documents and artifacts might have historical value. Please contact the Galt Museum and Archives before destroying them.