Terry Fox Day, observed on the first Monday of August, is a day set aside each year to honor Terry Fox, a courageous Canadian who embarked on a cross-country run after having his leg amputated due to cancer. His goal was to draw attention to and raise resources for cancer research. His incredible spirit and determination continue to inspire people worldwide.

The day is marked each year by reflecting on his inspiring Marathon of Hope and participating in numerous events and fundraisers that support ongoing cancer research.

History of Terry Fox Day

Terry Fox Day is a recognized public holiday in the province of Manitoba, Canada. This special day is dedicated to celebrating the memory and remarkable legacy of Terry Fox - a revered Canadian athlete, philanthropist, and cancer research advocate. The inception of this holiday can be directly linked to the brave endeavors of Terry Fox and his iconic “Marathon of Hope.”

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on July 28, 1958, Terrance Stanley Fox was an avid basketball player and dedicated athlete. Tragically, when he was just 18 years old in 1976, Fox was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of cancer typically starting near the knees. Following the amputation of his leg, 15 centimeters above his knee, he was left upset by the lack of funding for cancer research.

Motivated to make a difference, Terry made the bold decision to run the length of Canada to raise money and awareness for research in 1980, aptly naming it the “Marathon of Hope.” He set off from St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980, running an astounding 42 kilometers daily. Unfortunately, after 143 days and covering 5,373 kilometers, Terry was forced to halt his marathon in Thunder Bay, Ontario when his cancer spread to his lungs.

Sadly, Terry Fox passed away on June 28, 1981. In the years after his death, numerous events and campaigns have been launched in his honor, with the most notable being the annual Terry Fox Run held across Canada and globally, raising over $800 million for cancer research to date.

On Terry Fox Day, people typically engage in sponsored runs, with all funds going towards cancer research, a true tribute to Terry’s original vision. For many, this day serves as a reminder of Terry’s grit, determination, and the powerful difference one person can make for the good of others.

Terry Fox Day Timeline

Birth of Terry Fox

Terrance Stanley Fox was born on July 28, 1958 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Family Moves to British Columbia

The Fox family moved to Port Coquitlam, British Columbia when Terry was eight years old.

Diagnosed with Bone Cancer

In 1977, Terry was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, and his right leg was amputated 15 cm above the knee.

Marathon of Hope

Terry began the Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research on April 12.

End of Marathon

After 143 days and 5,373 kilometres, Terry was forced to end his run when the cancer spread to his lungs.

Terry Fox dies

On June 28, 1981, Terry Fox died one month before his 23rd birthday.

First Terry Fox Run

The first Terry Fox Run was held on September 13, 1982, involving 300,000 participants across Canada and raising $3.5 million for cancer research.

Terry Fox's Legacy

Terry Fox's legacy continues with the annual Terry Fox Run, and to date over $800 million has been raised in his name for cancer research.

Ideas to Celebrate Terry Fox Day

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Run for Hope

Organize a local marathon in your community. Encourage participants to make donations which can be given to the Terry Fox Foundation or other local cancer charities. This promotes fitness and helps raise funds for cancer research.

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Salute to Hero

Arranging an assembly at school emphasizing the story of Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope. Allow students to share their thoughts and discuss how they can follow his example in their own lives.

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Exhibit of Courage

Stage an art exhibition featuring works inspired by Terry Fox and his endeavor. This can include paintings, photography, sculptures, or even digital art. Encourage local artists to participate.

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Community Service Day

In honor of Terry Fox, organize a day of community service. This can involve various activities such as cleaning local parks, planting trees, or volunteering at a local charity.

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Film Screening

Host a screening of a Terry Fox documentary or related inspirational films. Open a discussion afterwards, giving viewers a chance to discuss and reflect on the heroism, determination, and selflessness shown by Terry Fox.

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Awareness Walk

Host a walk in your community with banners and posters sharing facts about Terry Fox and the importance of cancer research. This can help raise awareness and salute Terry Fox's legacy simultaneously.

7 Interesting Facts About Terry Fox


Terry's Marathon of Hope

Terry Fox started the Marathon of Hope, intending to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He averaged 42 kilometers a day, roughly the length of a marathon.


Leg amputation

Terry lost his right leg to bone cancer at the age of 18, and it was replaced with an artificial one.


Honorary Companion of the Order of Canada

Terry Fox became the youngest person to be made an honorary Companion of the Order of Canada (the highest civilian award) in recognition of his efforts for cancer awareness and fundraising.


Terry Fox Run

The Terry Fox Run is an annual non-competitive charity event held in numerous regions around the world in commemoration of Fox's Marathon of Hope. It is the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research.


Terry Fox Foundation

Established in Terry’s name, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised over $750 million for cancer research since its formation.


Inspiration to Many

Terry’s courage and determination have inspired millions of people around the world, encouraging them to raise funds for cancer research in his memory.


Monument in Thunder Bay

There's a Terry Fox Monument overlooking Thunder Bay, Ontario – the place where he was forced to end his run. Thunder Bay now marks the physical halfway point of Terry’s planned route across Canada.

Terry Fox Day FAQs

Next Terry Fox Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 August 7th Monday
2024 August 5th Monday
2025 August 4th Monday
2026 August 3rd Monday
2027 August 2nd Monday
What is the pattern? Every August undefinedth

Terry Fox Day Word Search

  • TerryFox
  • Marathon
  • Hope
  • Courage
  • Inspiration
  • Fundraising