Every March 15th since 1988 Cubans run at more than four thousand locations, symbolically remembering young Canadian Terry Fox. Terry began the historic Marathon of Hope on November 12th , 1980 to raise funds for cancer research, running thousands of miles in 143 consecutive days.
Cancer prevented him from attaining his goal of running from the Atlantic to the Paciﬁc, taking his life at the early age of 22, but he left an everlasting example of strength of will and a message of struggle.
To the Cuban people, Terry Fox's example constitutes a model of unselﬁshness and the ﬁghting spirit.
The Cuban Olympic Committee announced that on March 15th this year, at exactly 10:00 am, the 10th Anniversary of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope would start in the entire national territory.
Last year there were 4 652 runs in which 2 287 986 people participated, including not only Cubans but also foreign residents and tourists, among whom are always a great number of Canadians.
On that occasion $CAD 64 905 40 was raised and donated by the Canadian Embassy in Cuba to the Cuban National Oncology Institute to finance cancer related research projects.
For the 2008 run, a series of events, scientiﬁc gatherings and cultural activities were organized to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this race in Cuba.
To Cubans, the Marathon of Hope is also one of friendship with Terry Fox's countrymen.
Finally, on March 15, more than 3 million Cubans participated in the race all over the country, conﬁrming once again its second place, after Canada, in the level of participation in a Terry Fox Run worldwide.
Michael Chambers, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee, who travelled to Cuba for this occasion, started the race at exactly 10:00 am in Havana, across from the Cuban Capitol. Also present was Victor Ling, president and scientiﬁc director of the Terry Fox Cancer Research Centre together with important Cuban sportsmen and participants at the Cuba-Canada workshop on cancer.
During a press conference Chambers stated “All Cubans should be proud for their participation in this demonstration of support to Terry's dreams”. According to information provided by the organizers, more than 8 200 runners participated in the Havana race alone, a whole new record.