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Press Release | July 11, 2019

Federal Minister of Health shows government support for Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres network through $150-million investment to accelerate precision medicine

MONCTON, NB – The federal Minister of Health, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, announced today an investment of $150 million over five years by the Government of Canada to the Terry Fox Research Institute. This funding will create the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres network to help accelerate precision medicine for cancer patients across the country.

“We are committed to supporting innovative and collaborative cancer research to improve health outcomes for Canadians who are living with, or may one day be affected by, cancer,” said the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health. “I want to thank the Terry Fox Research Institute for its ongoing commitment, leadership, and innovation in cancer research across Canada. Your dedication is invaluable and is a source of hope to cancer patients and their families and friends.”

The funding, which was recently announced as part of Budget 2019, will be matched by the network’s partners. These partners will also work together to share data, resources and knowledge, all with the goal of achieving Terry Fox’s dream of a world without cancer.

“We are thrilled to have the Minister of Health share this great news today and on behalf of TFRI and our partners we thank the Government of Canada for its leadership in making this investment and for this vote of confidence,” said Dr. Victor Ling, TFRI president and scientific director. “Under this new network, centres and researchers will form the Team Canada of Cancer Research, sharing knowledge, harnessing technology and championing collaboration so cancer patients from coast to coast to coast will benefit.”

As members of the Team Canada of Cancer Research, the centres and their researchers are joining forces for the first time ever to apply new technologies such as genomics, advanced imaging, big data and artificial intelligence.

“On the road 39 years ago, Terry wrote in his journal that he wanted ‘to try the impossible to show that it can be done.’ The Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres network will try the impossible every day in research labs, hospitals and institutes across Canada,” said Pam Damoff, MP for Oakville North-Burlington, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and Oakville Terry Fox Run Chair.  “Today we keep our promise to Terry to continue his dream of a world without cancer. One day we will look back and recognize this as the moment we truly transformed cancer research in Canada and around the world, just like Terry did.”

Five regional consortia, representing cancer research and care institutions in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, the Prairies and Atlantic Canada, are expected to participate in the network once it is fully operational. A key network deliverable is the creation of a high-quality shareable dataset of 15,000 cancer cases completed by 2023.

“We have remained protective of the Marathon of Hope branding, using it sparingly and selectively, waiting for the right opportunity to maximize its meaning and value. We have found that opportunity with the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres network and precision medicine,” said Mr. Darrell Fox, on behalf of the Fox Family. “Terry said the Marathon of Hope must continue without him and he would be very proud to see this happening in this highly collaborative and inspired way.”

 “We are delighted with the federal government’s momentous decision to invest in world-class cancer research with the Terry Fox Research Institute and the major cancer centres across Canada,” said William Pristanski, Board Chair at The Terry Fox Foundation. “The Terry Fox Foundation encourages Canadians to come together, attend a Terry Fox Run and help us raise funds - every dollar invested by the federal government in the network will need to be matched. It's a critical opportunity for our Foundation and Terry's dream of a world without cancer."

To read reaction from Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres network partners to today’s announcement, please visit:



The Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network is the realization of a long-standing vision of the Terry Fox Research Institute. Inspired by Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope, the network represents a powerful collaborative platform that will close the gap between research in the lab and patient care in the clinic. Just as Terry Fox united Canadians with his run and dream to end cancer, the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres will unite our cancer researchers to pursue that same goal with precision medicine.


 The Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI), established in 2008, invests in world-class, collaborative cancer research teams and partnerships. Together with its research and funding partners, TFRI is working to inspire the transformation of cancer research in this country by bringing together leading cancer research and treatment organizations in Canada and empowering them under the framework of the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network.


The Terry Fox Foundation maintains the vision and principles of Terry Fox while raising money for cancer research through the annual Terry Fox Run, National School Runs and other annual fundraising initiatives. To date, over $750 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry Fox’s name. The first Terry Fox run was held in 1981, with The Terry Fox Foundation being created in 1988. Its national headquarters are located in Burnaby, BC and it has offices in 9 provinces.


MEDIA CONTACT: Kelly Curwin, Chief Communications Officer, Terry Fox Research Institute; o: 604-675-8223; c: 778-237-8158