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Thousands take part in Terry Fox runs across the GTA

The legacy of a Canadian icon continued on Sunday in Toronto and the GTA.

Thousands participated in the 34th edition of the Terry Fox Run, with events raising money for cancer research.

Rolly Fox, Terry’s father, was at Toronto’s Wilket Creek Park on Sunday and he said his son started something special.

“He had left so many young people behind in the cancer wards suffering from the disease, and he just wanted to go and raise money to try and beat it,” Rolly Fox said. “I’m very proud. I’m a very proud father.”

Terry Fox had his right leg amputated above the knee due to bone cancer and started his “Marathon of Hope” — a cross-country run across Canada — in 1980 to raise both money and awareness for cancer research.

Fox started his trek in Newfoundland, running about 42 kilometres per day but had to stop running in Thunder Bay, Ont., after the cancer spread to his lungs.

He died in 1981, but not before spreading the message about the importance of funding cancer research, and the organization that bears his name has raised over $650 million to date.