Sunday’s Google Doodle pays tribute to famed Canadian athlete and cancer activist Terry Fox on the anniversary of the first run event organized across Canada in his honour.
The Doodle, illustrated by Toronto-based artist Lynn Scurfield, replaces the usual Google logo with an image of Fox running in a valley near a lake. The sun shines above him and the clouds in the background spell “Google.”
The illustration pays homage to Fox’s original “Marathon of Hope” which he started on April 12, 1980, three years after he was diagnosed with bone cancer and had his right leg amputated.
Beginning in St John’s, N.L., Fox ran almost 42 kilometres every day for more than four months in his ambitious cross-country mission to raise money for cancer research. But by kilometre 5,373, the cancer he’d been fighting spread to his lungs, and he was forced to stop running.
Sept. 1, 1980 marked the last day of the Marathon of Hope. Fox died in hospital the following summer at the age of 22.
“Thank you, Terry, for every step you took towards the cancer-free world you bravely envisioned,” Google said in a statement about the Doodle.
In his honour, the first Terry Fox Run event was held on Sept. 13, 1981 at 760 sites across Canada. Now, the Terry Fox Run has become an annual event held worldwide.
Fox’s original goal was to raise $1 for every Canadian — $24.17 million — which was achieved just four months before his death from fundraising events held on his behalf. Since then, more than $800 million has been raised to support cancer research in his name.
On Sept. 20, a virtual Terry Fox run will be held across Canada. Participants are invited to collect pledges and then embark on their own non-competitive run or walk in their community. Nearly 14,000 runners have already raised over $2 million for this year’s event.