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Hundreds of thousands of Canadians lacing up for the Terry Fox Run

Last Updated Sep 16, 2018 at 8:41 am PDT

Terry Fox (Source: facebook.com/TheTerryFoxFoundation)

Hometown Terry Fox Run in Port Coquitlam is an extra-special event

Terry Fox's right leg was amputated above the knee. He began his Marathon of Hope in 1980 near St. John's Newfoundland

PORT COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) – Runners and walkers across Canada are gathering in an effort to achieve the dream of a man who continues to inspire, nearly four decades after his death.

The Terry Fox Run is taking place in about 700 communities to raise money for cancer research.

One of those communities is Port Coquitlam, where Fox trained and lived for several years before embarking on his Marathon of Hope in 1980.

Donna White with the Terry Fox Foundation said the hometown run is always extra special.

“We have a beautiful opening ceremony. The Terry Fox flag is raised at the start/finish line of the event, there’s a gentleman who comes out from the Giggle Dam Theatre and sings a beautiful song ‘Never Give Up on a Dream’ that Rod Stewart actually wrote in honour of Terry Fox.”

“It’s a pretty emotional day as we pay tribute not only to Terry but those we’ve loved and lost to this disease,” she added.

White said Fox left the message that there’s nothing you do can’t do if you try.

Fox was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 18. His right leg was amputated above the knee.

He began his Marathon of Hope on April 12, 1980 near St. John’s Newfoundland. He dipped his leg into the Atlantic Ocean and aimed to run across the entire country.

Fox was forced to stop 143 days later outside Thunder Bay, Ontario, after the cancer spread to his lungs. By that time, he had raised $1.7 million.

He passed away the following year at age 22.