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43 years ago, Canadian hero Terry Fox began his cross-country Marathon of Hope

‘It has been incredible to see how Terry has remained a source of inspiration for millions’

If you were to write a note to Terry Fox, what would it say?

That’s the question being raised by the late Canadian icon’s family as part of their foundation’s latest campaign, commemorating the 43-year anniversary of his Marathon of Hope.

On April 12, 1980, the high school student from Coquitlam dipped his prosthetic leg in the Atlantic Ocean near St. John’s, N.L., beginning a cross-country run that moved the nation as he spread awareness and raised funds for cancer research.

Although he was forced to abandon his journey at Thunder Bay, Ont., because of pneumonia linked to his cancer, his movement would transcend over many decades, including through annual Terry Fox runs and collaborations with Adidas and more recently Ryan Reynolds.

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“Since the Marathon of Hope, it has been incredible to see how Terry has remained a source of inspiration for millions of Canadians and people around the world, many of whom have continued to send in messages sharing their own personal connection,” Fred Fox, Terry’s older brother, said in a statement Wednesday.

“Every dollar raised by those that join or support the Terry Fox Run will help fund cancer research. It fills our family with joy to see how Terry’s legacy continues to inspire future generations to participate and help realize his dream of a world without cancer.”

The Terry Fox Foundation is asking for people around the world to share how Terry’s remarkable story continues to inspire them and submit these messages for a chance to be featured in this year’s campaign.

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A custom-made commemorative #DearTerry poster designed by famed artist Mutant 101 will be released on Sept. 17, when annual Terry Fox runs are scheduled across the country.

Messages can be shared on social media using the #DearTerry tag, while drawings, paintings and letters can be sent directly to the foundation’s office at 159–8960 University High Street in Burnaby.


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About the Author: Ashley Wadhwani-Smith

I began my journalistic journey at Black Press Media as a community reporter in my hometown of Maple Ridge, B.C.
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