As part of the exhibition at Royal BC Museum, visitors can see the customized van (with sleeping compartments, a kitchen and carpeted interior) that followed amputee Terry Fox as he ran across the country to raise money for cancer research. (Photo ItkasanImages/Victoria Buzz)

Terry Fox, was a young man from Port Coquitlam who at the age of 18, lost part of his right leg to bone cancer. The night before his amputation his basketball coach gave him a magazine story about an amputee, Dick Traum, who had run the New York City marathon in the past year.

While recovering Terry decided to, “not only overcome my disability, but conquer it in such a way that I could never look back and say it disabled me.” Two years later, he set out to run across Canada in what he called a “Marathon of Hope” to raise money for cancer research.

The feature exhibition Terry Fox: Running to the Heart of Canada opens at the Royal BC Museum on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, exactly 37 years to the day that Terry began his 143-day, 5,300 kilometre journey from St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The exhibit features Terry’s belongings, including many deeply personal items such as his journal, all assembled in one place. Recorded is also a day-in-the-life of the run, the heartbreaking end of the Marathon as his cancer returned and he was forced to finish in Thunder Bay, Ontario, as well as the story of his ongoing legacy.

Visitors can also see the iconic Ford E250 Econoline van that provided shelter for Terry on his journey. This is the only opportunity for Canadians to see the van as part of the exhibition, apart from its original display at the Canadian Museum of History.

Terry Fox succeeded in his goal of raising awareness of and money for cancer research – a legacy that continues to this day. Explore the story of a young man who inspired a nation and established himself as a hero through his courage, hope and determination.

“I’m not a dreamer, and I’m not saying that this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to.” – Terry Fox

Terry Fox ran in shorts without a logo, and refused to allow the manufacturers of his running shoes or vehicle to tout their involvement with the Marathon of Hope. Neither did he accept any personal profit from his celebrity status. (Photo ItkasanImages/Victoria Buzz)

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