Terry Fox Biography: Family, Early Life, Run

Terry Fox Biography

Terry Fox Biography – Terry Fox is a name synonymous with courage, determination, and hope. His story is one of an ordinary young man who became an extraordinary symbol of the fight against cancer. This biography looks into the life of Terrance Stanley Fox, his family background, early years, and the remarkable Marathon of Hope that left an indelible mark on the world.

Terry Fox Biography

Family Background

Terrance Stanley Fox, known as Terry Fox, was born on July 28, 1958, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Betty and Rolly Fox. He was the second of four children, with an older brother Fred (1957), a younger brother Darrell (1962), and a sister Judith (1965). The Fox family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1966, seeking a milder climate and better opportunities. They eventually settled in Port Coquitlam, a suburb east of Vancouver.

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Rolly Fox worked as a switchman for the Canadian National Railway, and his job allowed the family to lead a comfortable life. Despite the challenges of relocating, the Fox children adapted well to their new surroundings, with Terry showing a keen interest in sports from a young age.

Terry Fox Early Life and Passion for Sports

Terry Fox exhibited an athletic spirit early on, participating in various sports, including basketball, soccer, and rugby. However, basketball became his true passion. Despite not being the tallest player, his perseverance and dedication earned him a spot on his high school basketball team. Terry’s determination and positive attitude were evident in everything he did, setting the stage for his future endeavors.

In March 1977, while attending Simon Fraser University, Terry was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. This diagnosis led to the amputation of his right leg above the knee. However, Terry’s indomitable spirit remained unshaken. He was determined to continue living an active life and soon took up wheelchair basketball, winning three national championships with his team.

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The Birth of the Marathon of Hope

Inspired by the plight of other cancer patients and his own experiences, Terry decided to embark on a monumental journey to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. His plan was to run across Canada, from the Atlantic Ocean in St. John’s, Newfoundland, to the Pacific Ocean in Victoria, British Columbia. This ambitious endeavor became known as the Marathon of Hope.

Terry began his run on April 12, 1980, dipping his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean before starting his grueling journey. Running an average of 42 kilometers (26 miles) a day, Terry faced numerous physical and emotional challenges. Despite the pain and fatigue, his resolve never wavered.

The Marathon of Hope quickly gained national attention, with Canadians rallying to support Terry’s cause. Along the way, he met countless supporters, including cancer survivors, who drew inspiration from his efforts. By the time he reached Ontario, Terry had become a national hero.

The End of the Marathon and Terry’s Legacy

Unfortunately, on September 1, 1980, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometers (3,339 miles), Terry was forced to stop running near Thunder Bay, Ontario. The cancer had spread to his lungs, making it impossible for him to continue. Terry returned to British Columbia for treatment but succumbed to the disease on June 28, 1981, at the age of 22.

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Terry Fox’s legacy lives on through the annual Terry Fox Run, which began in 1981. This event has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries, making it the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research. As of September 2022, over C$850 million has been raised in his name.


Who is Terry Fox?

Terry Fox was a Canadian athlete and cancer research activist known for his Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research.

When did Terry Fox die?

Terry Fox died on June 28, 1981.

How old was Terry Fox when he died?

Terry Fox was 22 years old when he died.

Where did Terry Fox start his run?

Terry Fox started his Marathon of Hope in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

How much money did Terry Fox raise on his run?

Terry Fox raised $24 million during his Marathon of Hope.

When was Terry Fox diagnosed with cancer?

Terry Fox was diagnosed with cancer in 1977.


Terry Fox’s story is a testament to the power of human spirit and the impact one individual can have on the world. His Marathon of Hope continues to inspire millions, and his legacy endures through the ongoing fight against cancer. Terry’s determination, courage, and selflessness remind us all of the importance of perseverance and the difference one person can make.

About Samuel Jegede 313 Articles
Author & Editor at BioLog

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