Mission Statement and History
Terry Fox was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) in his right leg in 1977 and had his leg amputated 15 cm (six inches) above the knee. While in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He called his journey the Marathon of Hope.
Terry's Marathon of Hope took place in 1980 with the simple objective of informing Canadians of the importance of finding a cure for cancer. With fierce determination, he ran an average of 42 kilometres (26 miles) every day for 143 days. Terry was forced to end his run on September 1, 1980 when the cancer spread to his lungs.
By February 1, 1981, Terry's dream of raising $1 for every Canadian was realized - the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope fund totaled $24.17 million. Terry died in June 1981.
On May 26, 1988, The Terry Fox Run became a Trust, independent from the Canadian Cancer Society, and received tax-exempt charitable registration as a public foundation. In addition to our signature and long-standing National Terry Fox Run Day in September of each year, The Terry Fox Foundation is proud to include in its events portfolio The National School Run Day.
The Terry Fox Foundation is responsible for supporting close to $20 million in discovery based research each year in Canada - all monies raised outside Canada must be distributed to (a) an institute approved by the Foundation and its advisors or (b) remitted to Canada. The Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) is a recipient of TFF funding for translational research. TFRI is an exciting new initiative whose goal is to translate rapidly today's best science into better cancer treatment and diagnosis for all Canadians. The Institute will bring scientists and clinicians together across the country into a functionally integrated, geographically dispersed Institute with nodes in several provinces.
The Foundation recognizes the duality of its mandate. Not only does it raise money for research, but it also continues to share the story of Terry Fox. The Terry Fox Foundation strives to maintain the heroic effort and integrity that Terry embodied.
It is a grassroots organization that does not allow the Terry Fox name or likeness to be commercialized or conjoined with other worthy causes.
To date, over $650 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry's name.
To download the most recent Audited Financial Statements of The Terry Fox Foundation, please click here.