SEP 16, 2020

Terry Fox Marathon of Hope

CN is especially proud to mark the 40th anniversary

Forty years ago, many of us became captivated while watching 22-year-old Terry Fox run across Canada, completing a marathon every day for 143 days. He launched his Marathon of Hope to raise funds for cancer research following his own five-year battle against bone cancer and the amputation of his right leg. Tragically, Terry never got to finish his heroic mission because his cancer came back and ultimately claimed his life in June 1981.

Today, we continue to honour Terry through community runs across the country. CN is especially proud to mark the 40th anniversary of Terry’s Marathon of Hope by encouraging all employees to participate in this year’s virtual event. To mark this milestone for the Terry Fox Foundation, CN will be giving a major gift, matching up to $25,000 in funds raised by employees.

Railroaders have always supported the people in the communities where we live and work, and CN has a long history with the Fox family.

In 1954, Terry’s father, Rolly, hired on at the CN yard in Winnipeg, where Terry was born in 1958. During Rolly’s 36-year career, he also worked as a switchman in Surrey, BC before moving to Port Coquitlam. Terry’s grandfather and uncle Brian Hogan also worked for CN in Winnipeg and Montreal.

When Terry joined a wheelchair basketball team after losing his leg, Rolly’s CN colleagues bought him a new chair so he could play. And during Terry’s illness, Rolly missed a lot of work to care for his son. His CN friends took turns volunteering to work his shifts. Terry’s older brother Fred remembers his dad keeping a special notebook, in which he wrote the names and dates of every shift his colleagues took for him while he stayed at Terry’s side in the hospital.

As Terry got stronger, he began running marathons, and decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. Terry’s Marathon of Hope in 1980 was an inspiration to Canadians and people around the world.

Even though we can’t run or walk together, we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Annual Terry Fox Run. We encourage everyone to stand alongside us as we continue Terry’s legacy TOGETHER.