In 1977, 18-year-old Terry Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer, causing one of the distance runner’s legs having to be amputated. Three years later, deeply suffering from his fellow cancer patients’ stories of suffering, and on an artificial leg, Fox embarked on a historic Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research.
To celebrate his bravery and contribution to raising cancer awareness, Google dedicated its Doodle on Sunday to Fox.
With little fanfare, Fox began his run in April 1980 in Newfoundland, on Canada’s eastern coast. Fox, who was simply running roughly the same as a full marathon every day, hoped to raise one dollar from each of Canada’s 24 million residents.
Fox made public appearances as you go along, covering a lot more than 3,300 miles in a little more than four months before the cancer’s spread forced him to get rid of his journey.
Fox had raised $1.7 million before that he was forced to abandon his run. Another $23 million came in from donors before Fox died nine months later. He was 22.
Fox’s fight to end cancer inspired the creation of the Terry Fox Run, an annual charity set you back raise money for cancer research. The first run, held 39 years ago Sunday, attracted a lot more than 300,000 participants and raised $3.5 million.
The all-inclusive, noncompetitive run is now held every year all over the world and has helped raise a lot more than $750 million for cancer research.