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Established in 2015, August 2nd marks the 6th anniversary of Terry Fox Day in Manitoba – the day honouring the famed one-legged, long-distance athlete who ran halfway across the country 40 years ago before dying of cancer.

Fox, who was born in Winnipeg in 1958, pushed his physical limits and inspired the nation, raising millions of dollars for cancer research in the process.

Every year, Terry Fox Runs are held around the world raising millions. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Terry Fox Run was cancelled for the first time in its history.

And as Manitoba’s Provincial Director of The Terry Fox Foundation, Allison Doan, explains, even though the Terry Fox Run and Terry Fox Day were cancelled, she says that the foundation found ways to work around the pandemic:

“Our main fundraising event is in person runs in the communities and in schools, so last year we had to make a very quick pivot and decided to go with the virtual event, which many people have done as well. So we had ‘One Day Your Way’ events across Canada where people were able to participate in their own way in which they chose in terms of distance, if they run, walk, ride, whatever that is. So every Terry Fox event did end up going virtual.”

As for Terry Fox Day this year, Doan says that all events are once again cancelled. However, she’s hopeful that events for Terry Fox Day can take place next year:

“We don’t have any events this year, unfortunately. We kind of are holding off again this year because of COVID and, you know, we’re still in phase two. I hope next year to have an opportunity to do something new and exciting.”

Doan adds that the Terry Fox Foundation is working on the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network, which gives Canadians with cancer more access to more precise information to receive better care for their cancer treatment.

Last year, the foundation raised more than $18 million for cancer research.