Terry Fox Run, in Memory of a Canadian Athlete


“Terry Fox Run was an annual event at my Canadian secondary school, from grade 8th to 12th. Everyone joined and ran for about 3 kilometers in the neighborhood on September 15th. There were also school bands performing and the run was accompanied by music. I see Terry Fox Run as an event to remember and celebrate Terry Fox, a Canadian athlete who lost a leg to cancer but continued to train for a cross-Canada run to fundraise for cancer research, and to help cancer patients like him.”


The informant is a 21-year-old female who was born in China, raised in Canada, and currently studies at USC. The informant attended secondary school in Canada which was from 8th to 12th grade. Terry Fox Run was an event she recalled immediately when asked about her secondary school experience not only because Terry Fox’s personal story moved her, but also missed the community spirit of her school that highlighted charity, care, and resilience from cancer.


The charity event was named after Terry Fox, whose dream was to become a professional athlete but lost a leg due to his cancer diagnosis of osteogenic sarcoma. But cancer didn’t stop Terry Fox from working towards his dream, and motivated him instead. Even with an artificial leg, Terry Fox planned a cross-Canada run to fundraise for cancer research. Before his death, ​​his “$1 from every Canadian” goal was achieved, and his spirits continue to inspire Terry Fox Run all over Canada which has raised more than $850 million since 1980. The informant’s secondary school was one of the Canadian schools which required students to participate in the annual run. Though the fundraising details were unclear to the informant, she simply remembered the event as something to remember and celebrate Terry Fox’s spirits, spreading the message of love and care by being part of the run. According to the informant, the story of Terry Fox empowered her by showing the power of human resilience and aroused her pride as a member of a loving community.