Forty years after Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope, his brother says the message he shared is particularly poignant as Canadians deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Port Coquitlam, B.C. resident lost part of his leg to cancer at the age of 18. The Marathon of Hope stemmed from his desire to raise money to fund cancer research, with a goal of running a marathon a day to raise awareness and donations.

On April 12, 1980, Terry began his Marathon of Hope in St. John’s before ending it 143 days later in Thunder Bay, Ont., after cancer spread to his lungs. Terry died on June 28, 1981.

“It’s a time to look forward, not behind,” Darrell Fox, Terry’s younger brother, said of the message Terry’s journey can share on the 40th anniversary of the start of the Marathon of Hope on Sunday.

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“I think it’s timely to think ahead. Yes we’re faced with another global health challenge, but every day will be a little better than the day before. We’re looking forward.”

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Despite not joining Terry on the inaugural day back in 1980 — he would join in May — Darrell says his brother’s message and acts resonate with him on the anniversary.