Terry Fox: Facts, figures, timeline, and accomplishments:
1977, 19-year-old Terry Fox's right leg was amputated after he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma.
February, 1979, Terry Fox begins training for his "Marathon of Hope" to raise money for cancer research and awareness. Fox hoped to raise one dollar for each of Canada's then-population of 24 million people.
October, 1979, Fox wrote to the Canadian Cancer Society asking them to support his run, closing his letter with, "We need your help. The people in cancer clinics all over the world need people who believe in miracles. I'm not a dreamer, I'm not saying this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles.I have to."
April, 1980, St. John's, Newfoundland, Terry Fox dipped his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean and filled two large bottles with ocean water. He intended to keep one as a souvenir and pour the other into the Pacific Ocean upon completing his journey at Victoria, British Columbia. He then began his odyssey, supported by Doug Alward, who drove a van behind him and cooked meals.
Terry Fox ran 42 kilometres a day in the hope of running the equivalent of 200 marathons in a row across Canada. Along the way, he suffered from a bleeding stump, shin splints, cysts and tendonitis as well as dizzy spells. Fox and his marathon were largely unknown in first few months, with cars honking at him to get out of way, sometimes even forcing him off the road. He finally started gaining notoriety as he approached Ontario, and was met by a crowd of 10,000 people when he reached Toronto.
September, 1980, just outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Fox was forced to stop after experiencing excessive coughing and chest pain. After being driven to a hospital, it was determined that his cancer had returned and had spread to his lungs. He was forced to end the run having travelled 5,373 kilometres in 143 days. $1.7 million had been raised.
By February, 1981, Fox's dream of raising one dollar for every Canadian was realised when donations reached $24.17 million, just over the population at the time.
On June 19, 1981, Fox was admitted to a hospital in New Westminster, BC. On June 28, he fell into a coma and died with his family by his side. The Government of Canada ordered flags across the country lowered to half mast, an unprecedented honour that was usually reserved for statesmen.
There are 14 schools and 15 roads named after Terry Fox, including an 83 kilometre stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway outside Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Terry Fox was the youngest person ever named a Companion of the Order of Canada.
A1999 national survey named Terry Fox Canada's greatest hero, and in 2004, Fox finished second to Tommy Douglas in the CBC TV series The Greatest Canadian.
To date, over $600 million has been raised for cancer research through the annual Terry Fox runs across Canada and the world.