A true Canadian hero is about to have a day in Manitoba named after him.

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This article was published 30/7/2014 (2889 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A true Canadian hero is about to have a day in Manitoba named after him.

The August civic holiday will be now known as Terry Fox Day, named after the Winnipeg-born athlete who was just 22 when he died in 1981 during his attempt to run across Canada on one leg in his Marathon of Hope.

Terry Fox on the Marathon of Hope, July 1981.


Terry Fox on the Marathon of Hope, July 1981.

While his run was cut short, the annual Terry Fox Run has raised hundreds of millions of dollars over the years for cancer research.

The government will introduce a bill in the upcoming fall session of the legislature to make the change. The province said it came to its decision after a "grassroots movement emerged on social media."

"Terry Fox embodied hope, courage, commitment and strength in the face of adversity," Selinger said in a press release. "Naming the civic holiday after him is a way for all Manitobans to honour this great Canadian for the hero he was."

"Terry Fox did so much in the global fight against cancer. He was not only an inspiring individual but a true pioneer," Selinger said. "Now when people are enjoying a holiday with their friends and family, they will remember the amazing man who inspires so many."

Terry's aunt, Nancy Wall, who lives in Winnipeg, called the news "wonderful" and a real tribute to "a great Canadian boy."

"I'm very pleased, naturally," Wall said today. "He was a wonderful young man. I used to think he could walk on water."

After running 5,374 kilometres in 143 days in 1980 from St. John's, N.L., to Thunder Bay, he had to stop his Marathon of Hope.

Fox was born in Winnipeg in 1958, and moved with his family to British Columbia when he was eight years old.

A natural athlete as a youngster, he excelled in soccer, rugby and baseball. He also did some long-distance running in junior high and high school.

In 1977, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of cancer that often starts near the knees. Doctors told him his leg had to be amputated.

Just two years later, he completed a marathon in B.C., and then started on a plan to run across Canada and raise millions for cancer research.

Fox was forced to stop his marathon in Thunder Bay, Ont., when cancer spread to his lungs.

"He was always a good standup kid, and when he had this horrible thing happen to him, he didn’t want people to feel sorry for him,' said his aunt. "He got sick, but he was already this extraordinary person. The door opened for him to help people out.

"He wasn’t out for publicity. He didn’t do any of it to get his name out. He sincerely wanted to help out."

Wall said she's still overcome by emotion when she thinks about her nephew.

"I have a good cry still when I think about him."

Jason Bell

Jason Bell
Sports editor

Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).