Terry Fox Bio, Age, Death, Wife, Net Worth & Career

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NameTerrance Stanley Fox
Age22 (death)
Birth DateJuly 28, 1958
BirthplaceWinnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
ParentsBetty and Rolly Fox
ProfessionAthlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist
Net WorthNA
Hair ColorNA
Eye ColorNA

Terry Fox was a Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist. In 1980, with one leg having been amputated due to cancer, he embarked on an east to west cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research.

Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometers (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy.

The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over C$750 million has been raised in his name, as of January 2018.

Fox had accomplished far more than what he had hoped for, not only collecting enough funds but also making a statement that epitomized the strength of the human spirit.

Terry Fox
Terry Fox

Bio, Age & Education

Terry Fox was the second of four children born to Betty and Rolly Fox. Rolly was a switchman with the Canadian National Railway and met Betty in Winnipeg. All four of their children were born there. Tired of the harsh Winnipeg winters, Rolly transferred to Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1966. The family moved west and eventually settled in Port Coquitlam, a suburb east of Vancouver.

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Fox was born on July 28, 1958, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He was 22 at the time of his death. He was an enthusiastic athlete, playing soccer, rugby, and baseball as a child. His passion was for basketball and though he stood only five feet tall and was a poor player at the time, Fox sought to make his school team in grade eight.

In 1976, he took admission at ‘Simon Fraser University’ to study Kinesiology, the science of body movement, as he aspired to become a physical education teacher. He also made it to the University basketball team.

In 1977, he was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a bone cancer due to which his right leg was amputated six inches above the knee. He was fitted with an artificial leg and was told by the doctors that his chances of surviving the cancer were fifty percent.

During his treatment in the ‘British Columbia Cancer Control Agency’, he was troubled when he witnessed the sufferings of other cancer patients and resolved to help them. He eventually recovered from cancer.

Later Life & Career

Fox soon learned to run using an artificial leg, and by 1979 he was able to complete a marathon (26.2 miles [42 km]). A few months later he decided to run across Canada in order to raise money for cancer research. His run, which he called the Marathon of Hope, began in Saint John’s, Newfoundland, on April 12, 1980.

Initially, Fox did not receive much attention or money, but that changed as he continued to run, covering up to 30 miles (48 km) per day. Fox passed the halfway point in eastern Ontario, but on September 1, 1980, chest pains forced him to stop just outside the city of Thunder Bay. It was soon discovered that cancer had spread to his lungs, and he was unable to continue.

Marathon of Hope
Marathon of Hope

By that time Fox had covered 3,339 miles (5,374 km) and had raised some $1.7 million (Canadian). In early 1981 the Marathon of Hope surpassed Fox’s goal of $24 million in donations.

Awards & Achievements

  • In 1980, he was bestowed with the honor of ‘Companion of the Order of Canada’ and became the youngest person to receive this honour.
  • He won the ‘Lou Marsh Award’ in 1980 as Canada’s top sportsman for that year.
  • He was chosen ‘Canada’s Newsmaker of the Year’ for 1980, and again for the next year.

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Rehabilitation and Chemotherapy

Within weeks of his surgery, Fox was walking with the help of an artificial leg. Less than a month later, he was playing golf with his father. In addition to physiotherapy, Fox began a 16-month program of chemotherapy at the British Columbia Cancer Control Agency in Vancouver. Every three weeks he would visit the clinic, where he was given methotrexate and adriamycin.

The drugs caused his hair to fall out and made him nauseous. Yet despite his suffering, he felt fortunate compared to others at the clinic, some of whom were dying. Not only did he feel compassion for them, but also a sense of responsibility that came with being one of the survivors.

Personal Life & Legacy

He breathed his last on June 28, 1981, after falling into a coma.

In September 1981, after Fox succumbed to cancer, the first Terry Fox Run was jointly organized by businessman Isadore Sharp and Fox’s family. It was a fundraising marathon to raise money for cancer research. Thereafter, the marathon is held every year and has become an international event in which people from all over the world participate.

Several buildings, roads, parks, and schools in Canada are named in his honour. Seven statues have also been installed in different parts of Canada.

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Rick Hansen, the Paralympic athlete who had inducted Fox into the wheelchair basketball team, took inspiration from Fox’s endeavours and embarked on a tour himself, called ‘Man in Motion World Tour’. He went around the earth in his wheelchair and raised more than $26 million in 34 countries.

Terry Fox
Terry Fox

Two films have been made on Fox’s life, ‘The Terry Fox Story’ and ‘Terry’. While the former was criticized by Fox’s family for the way it showed his anger, the latter gained more acceptance.

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