Who was Terry Fox, who is honoured on today’s Google Doodle?


Terry Fox is honoured with a beautiful Google Doodle today (Picture: Google)

The Google Doodle can often teach us something new, such as giving insight into an artist like Barbara Hepworth or honouring lesser-known accomplished individuals like Frank Soo.

The Doodle replaces the usual Google logo on Google’s homepage, and is often interactive or features an inspirational piece of artwork.

Today’s Google Doodle is in tribute to a Canadian athlete, Terry Fox, and features an inspirational illustration.

Who was Terry Fox and why is Google honouring him today?

Who was Terry Fox?

Born on July 28, 1958, Terry Fox was a Canadian who grew up participating in a variety of sports and athletics including basketball, soccer, and distance running.

At the age of 18, Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer in his right knee, which forced doctors to amputate his right leg.

Inspired by Dick Traum — the first amputee to complete the New York Marathon — Terry Fox decided to do the same and keep running, all while raising money for cancer research.

Fox decided to not let his amputation beat him and set out on an awe-inspiring cross-country run (Picture: Getty)

After 14 months of physical training with his artificial leg, Terry Fox participated in a public marathon then announced to his family that he would run the entire length of Canada from east to west.

Fox embarked on this run – dubbed the ‘Marathon of Hope’ on April 12, 1980 from the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, proceeding one marathon length (26 miles) per day.

Despite his heroic efforts, it wasn’t to be.

After 143 days and 3,339 miles, Fox’s goal was cut short as he requested to be brought to the hospital for chest pains and coughing fits.

At the hospital, it was discovered that the cancer had spread to his lungs, and that he would likely never be able to resume the Marathon of Hope.

Terry Fox’s run attracted attention across Canada, raising millions for cancer research. (Picture: Getty)

Following that news, fundraising events were held in his honour, eventually raising over $23 million (approx. £17.9 million).

Terry Fox died less than a year later, on June 28, 1981.

On September 13 in 1981, the first Terry Fox Run event was organized across 760 sites around Canada, and now these marathon events happen around the world on the second Sunday after Labor Day (celebrated on the first Monday in September in North America) raising funds for cancer foundations worldwide.

Wikipedia reports that as of 2018, the annual Terry Fox run has raised over $750 million for cancer research (Picture: Getty)

After his death, Fox has been honoured throughout his native Canada, with 14 public schools named after him and, in 2008, Fox was named a National Historic Person of Canada, a recognition given by the Canadian government to those persons who are considered to have played a nationally significant role in the history of the country.

MORE: Who was Mary Somerville, the Scottish scientist behind today’s Google Doodle?

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