Google Doodle honors cancer activist Terry Fox

Today, Google is remembering Canadian athlete and cancer activist Terry Fox with their homepage logo instead of a beautifully illustrated and inspiring doodle.

Born July 28, 1958, Terry Fox grew up participating in a variety of sports and athletics, including basketball, soccer and distance running. At age 18, Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer in his right knee, which doctors forced to amputate his right leg.

Seeing another in the children’s cancer ward and inspired by Dick Trump – the first amputee to complete the New York Marathon – Terry Fox decided to continue, to encourage him to donate money to cancer research.

I soon realized that this would only be half of my quest, as I was surrounded by the cancer clinic when I went through 16 months of physically and mentally bleeding ordeals of chemotherapy and the feelings were indifferently aroused. There were faces of brave smiles and those who smiled. There were feelings of optimistic denial and feelings of frustration were my quest would not be any selfish. I can’t let go of knowing that these faces and feelings will still be there even if I get rid of them. The injury must stop somewhere. I was determined to limit myself for this reason.

– Terry Fox, 1979

After 14 months of physical training with his prosthesis, Terry Fox took part in a public marathon and announced to his family that he would run the entire length of Canada from east to west. Fox embarked on this “marathon off” from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean on April 12, 1980, advancing one marathon length (26 miles) per day with the support of his brother and a friend from a van.

Sadly, after 143 days and 3,339 miles, Terry Fox’s goal was reduced because he requested to be brought to the hospital for chest pain and cough fit. At the hospital, it was discovered that the cancer had spread to his lungs and he would probably never be able to resume the Hope Marathon.

Following the news, fundraising events were held in his honor, bringing the total amount raised for cancer research from 1.7 million to 23 23 million. Terry Fox died on June 26, 1971, less than a year later.

On this day in 1981, the first Terry Fox Run event was held in his honor and at his request across about 760 sites across Canada. Now these marathon events take place around the world on the second Sunday after Labor Day to raise funds for the Cancer Foundation worldwide. Today’s Google Doodle features a moving image of Fox’s original Marathon of Hope in honor of that first event and Terry Fox’s powerful life, with the “Google” cloud in the background.

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Despite all the challenges the world has faced in 2020, it is possible to sign up to take part in the Terry Fox Run, the next event to be held on September 20th. While many of us are still encouraged to practice social distance, you can take part in the Terry Fox Run from anywhere without having to be organized in a specific way. Or, if running is not your style, consider donating one of the reasons to the participants through the official website.

More Google Doodles:

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