Born in Winnipeg, Fox was 18 when he was diagnosed with bone cancer.
Three years before he started his run, Fox's right leg was amputated 15 centimeters above the knee, in an attempt to stop the disease from spreading throughout his body.
Fox set out in 1980 to run across Canada to show an amputee's capability, and to raise funds for research.He ran 42 kilometers a day through the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec and Ontario; the equivalent of a full marathon everyday.
After 143 days on Canadian roads, Fox was forced to stop running near Thunder Bay, Ont., because the cancer had reached his lungs. He passed away in June of 1981 at the age of 22.
Till now, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $400 million worldwide, with the vast majority of that amount going into cancer research.
Incidentally, the first run held in 1981, raised more than $3.5 million, as 300,000 people ran, walked or rode their bikes in the non-competitive event.
One such participant of this year's run was Steve Crawford. "Terry Fox's belief was that there should be no registration fee, no competition."He just wanted to see every Canadian give a dollar for cancer research", he was quoted.
In Toronto on Sunday, thousands of participants lined up to run, walk, skate and bike the 10-kilometre marathons that kicked off from various sites across the city.
Dr. Eshwar Kumar, head of the N.B. branch of the Canadian Cancer Society, said organizations like the Terry Fox Foundation are crucial for researchers.
"Sometimes what we do gets us down," he was quoted. "We want to help cure patients and we know a lot needs to be done to research causes and treatments. And the only way to do that is by investing more money into it."