Manitoba Terry Fox Day honours memory of famed Winnipeg runner

Monday was Terry Fox Day in Manitoba — the first such day honouring the famed one-legged, long-distance athlete who ran halfway across the country in 1980 before dying of cancer.

'It's absolutely amazing to know that Terry's legacy has been so far-reaching,' says Judith Fox

Terry Fox set out on his Marathon of Hope in 1980, intending to run from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Victoria, B.C. (Canadian Press)

Monday was Terry Fox Day in Manitoba — the first such day honouring the famed one-legged, long-distance athlete who ran halfway across the country 35 years ago before dying of cancer.

Fox, who was born in Winnipeg in 1958, pushed his physical limits and inspired the nation, raising millions of dollars for cancer research in the process.

We will find a cure for cancer. That was Terry's ultimate purpose.- Judith Fox, Terry Fox's sister

"He did something really great for us and I think he's an inspiration for all of Canada," said 12-year-old Noah Banmann.

Judith Fox, Terry Fox's sister, said she is honoured to have Aug. 3 dedicated to her brother.

"It's absolutely amazing to know that Terry's legacy has been so far-reaching and that his story offers hope for so many people," said Fox.

​Fox began his journey in St. John's, Newfoundland, in April of 1980. He ventured west until September of that year, when chest pain forced him to stop in Thunder Bay, Ont., and call off the remainder of the run.
Terry Fox continues his Marathon of Hope run across Canada in this Aug., 1980 file photo. Legendary runner and cancer activist Fox, producer Bob Ezrin, actor Victor Garber and pianist Oscar Peterson are among the latest inductees to Canada's Walk of Fame. THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP (Canadian Press)

Fox passed away in 1981, but millions of dollars have since been raised for cancer research in annual nationwide Terry Fox Runs.

Winnipegger Andrea Mislan said even 35 years after his death, she isn't surprised to see Fox's spirit inspiring young generations of Canadians to keep moving.

"[He motivated] the masses really to not only just get active physically, but to have a passion and a drive," said Mislan.

Cancer survivors like George Pinlac are still drawing inspiration from Fox's triumphs.

"Follow the example of Terry.... Maybe one day we can find the cure for cancer," said Pinlac.

Judith Fox echoed Pinlac's sentiments. 

"We will find a cure for cancer.... That was Terry's ultimate purpose."

The annual Terry Fox Run takes place Sept. 20.


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