More than four decades after Terry Fox inspired the nation, his enduring spirit lives on in a new generation.
Across Canada, the annual Terry Fox Run, which raises money for cancer research, is returning to live events after going on for almost two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than four million people are expected to participate this year, including 17-year-old Jorja Scott from Kincardine, Ont., located along the eastern shore of Lake Huron.
“Yeah, it’s amazing what he’s done… I can’t even imagine,” Scott told CTV News.
A year ago, Scott was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, the same bone cancer that Fox had.
She said she first started feeling pain while playing sports, but it wasn’t until she began to limp when she walked that she decided to go to the hospital.
Scott has undergone surgery to get a newly reconstructed knee and is undergoing 18 rounds of chemotherapy.
But through it all, she says she finds strength in Terry Fox.
“He’s a good influencer to look for during this time,” Scott said.
On April 12, 1980, Fox began a cross-Canada run known as the Marathon of Hope.
Starting from St. John’s, NL, he runs nearly 42 kilometers a day, morning to night, through the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario, stopping at hundreds of towns, schools and cities along the way.
On September 1, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometers, Fox was forced to stop outside Thunder Bay, Ont., after cancer appeared in his lungs.
He died on June 28, 1981, at the age of 22.
Since then, more than $850 million has been raised for cancer research through the annual Terry Fox Run.
Tim Duguay, a Terry Fox event organizer in Port Williams, NS, about 80 kilometers northwest of Halifax, said:
Duguay plans to raise more than $2,000 by running 42 kilometers along Nova Scotia’s scenic Cape Split Trail – there’s a Terry Fox run every year.
“It’s a rewarding route when you get to the final finish line, and look up and just see the view,” he said. “It’s my little happy space.”