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.