WINNIPEG – The Manitoba government plans to change the name of the province’s August civic holiday to Terry Fox Day.
Fox was born in Winnipeg on July 28, 1958, and became famous for his cross-country Marathon of Hope in 1980. Renaming the holiday, which falls on the first Monday of August, in honour of Fox only makes sense, Premier Greg Selinger said Wednesday.
“His example of courage and determination in the face of cancer … is something that has resulted in over $600 million being raised for cancer-care research across the globe, in over 60 countries,” Selinger told radio station CJOB.
“Terry Fox was one of the early guys that inspired all of Canada and actually the rest of the world to do something about it.”
The government will discuss the issue with the Terry Fox Foundation and is expected to table a bill in the legislature this fall to make the change official.
It’s an idea that other provinces may want to adopt, Selinger suggested.
Fox lost a leg to cancer when he was 18 and three years later took up his attempted cross-country run on a prosthetic limb.
He started his run in April 1980, dipping his leg in the ocean at St. John’s, N.L. The effort ended 147 days and 5,373 kilometres later outside Thunder Bay, Ont., when his cancer returned and forced him to abandon his project.
He died in June 1981 at the age of 22.