Community

Terry Fox’s legacy continues to inspire people of all age

The 43rd annual Terry Fox Run will be held on September 17 starting at the Old Unionville Library Community Centre.

Last year’s run was the first in-person run since 2019 and Markham residents came out to celebrate Terry in a big way by raising just over $80,000. “We hope to surpass that total this year,” says Lilly Ing, Markham-Unionville run organizer.

After losing a leg to osteosarcoma (bone cancer), Terry Fox started his Marathon of Hope on April 12, 1980, to raise funds for cancer research.

He wanted to run across the country and raise one dollar for every person in Canada — a goal of more than $24 million. His dream of running across Canada was cut short near Thunder Bay when he learned that cancer had spread to his lungs. For 143 days, he ran an average of 42 km every day, totalling 5,373 km. He passed away on June 28, 1981.

Since the first Marathon of Hope, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised over $850 million and funded 1,300 innovative cancer research projects, bringing hope and health to millions of Canadians.

This year’s limited edition Terry Fox T-shirt, designed by the Fox family with input from Ryan Reynolds, features messages Terry and his family received both past and present, and celebrates how his story and legacy continue to inspire people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities in Canada and beyond. It features a black-and-white photo of Fox on the front, accented with a bit of red. Behind the image are the words “Dear Terry” and “Cher Terry” in blue script and real handwritten letters to Fox are copied and excerpted on the back.

The shirt campaign, dubbed “Dear Terry,” has been promoted with the help of Reynolds, who said Terry Fox was a role model of his as early as the second grade. All proceeds from T-shirt sales support cancer research in Canada.

Registration is now open for the Markham-Unionville run and people are being encouraged to sign up now and help support the Marathon of Hope.

Volunteers are needed to assist with the organization of the run as well as on the run day. For more information, email [email protected].

 

Photo: Markham residents came out to celebrate Terry Fox in a big way last year by raising just over $80,000. “We hope to surpass that total this year,” says local run organizer Lilly Ing.

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