Plaque unveiled in Thunder Bay, Ont., where Terry Fox had to abandon marathon

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — The Terry Fox Memorial is now the site of one of three plaques commemorating the Marathon of Hope.

The Honourable Steven Fletcher

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — The Terry Fox Memorial is now the site of one of three plaques commemorating the Marathon of Hope.

Twenty-nine years ago Tuesday, Fox was forced to abandon his Marathon of Hope in this northwestern Ontario city when it was determined that the cancer that had claimed one of his legs had returned to his lungs.

After 143 days and 5,300 kilometres, he had become a national hero for attempting to run across Canada to raise awareness and money for cancer research.

To commemorate his marathon, Parks Canada unveiled the plaque describing the dream and accomplishments of Fox at the memorial just outside Thunder Bay. Among those in attendance were Fox’s parents Roly and Betty.

John Jennings, Ontario representative with the Monuments Board of Canada, listed many of Fox’s accomplishments, including realization of his dream to collect a dollar from every Canadian.

He was also the first non-royal person to be depicted on the dollar coin. He was voted Canada’s greatest hero in a national survey and he has schools, a mountain and a provincial park named after him.

But it’s the personal stories that highlight Fox’s legacy, like Jennings’s sister’s encounter with him.

“She was driving through Sudbury (Ont.) to visit me when I was teaching at Trent University and was asked to pull over for a man running a marathon,” Jennings said Tuesday. “She was waiting to shout words of encouragement, but when she saw his face she was struck silent. She said she had never seen a face with so much pain and determination in her life.”

Words of inspiration also came from Tory Tronud, director and curator at the Thunder Bay Historical Museum, and Kenora MP Greg Rickford.

Both agreed Fox’s legacy resonates across borders as a philanthropic individual who symbolized hope in the face of overwhelming odds, the definition of a classic hero.

Betty Fox said that every time the family drives through Thunder Bay they never forget the day Terry was forced to end his marathon. She said he wasn’t running for himself, but to unify the country so others wouldn’t have to endure what he experienced.

“His dream for a cure is still going,” she said. “He said he wanted to make an example no one would forget, but most importantly he raised the awareness of how devastating cancer can be to families and he passed the torch to us. He never wavered from his conviction that he could make a difference. ”

“To date over $450 million has been raised and Terry Fox Runs are held in more than 50 countries. This is proof people still believe in Terry and their dollars are making a difference.”

The family continues to receive letters thanking them for their hard work and sharing stories about the Terry Fox legacy’s impact.

“The most humbling story I heard was from a lady who called a radio station to say someone had placed a blanket on Terry’s statue during the winter.”

The other two plaques are to be unveiled in St. John’s, N.L., where the marathon started, and in Port Coquitlam, B.C., where Fox was raised.

Just Posted

Pot stores on agenda at Toronto city council after two municipalities opt out

TORONTO — Councillors in Toronto are set to debate whether to allow… Continue reading

Police believe body found near Mexican resort is missing Quebec woman

MONTREAL — Mexican authorities have found the body of a woman near… Continue reading

Experts struggle with ethics of assisted death for people with mental disorders

OTTAWA — Experts the federal government charged with looking at whether people… Continue reading

Two Canadians detained on suspicion of ‘endangering national security’: China

BEIJNG, China — Two Canadian men have been detained in China on… Continue reading

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Tommy Chong says Canada’s weed legalization has kept ‘underground market alive’

TORONTO — Tommy Chong has a pass, man. While some Canadians who… Continue reading

Apple deepens Austin ties, expands operations east and west

AUSTIN, Texas — Apple will build a $1 billion campus in Austin,… Continue reading

Trump comments upend U.S. approach to Huawei, trade talks

WASHINGTON — The United States and China have taken pains this week… Continue reading

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Dumba scores twice, Wild rout Canadiens 7-1

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Reeling and banged up, the Minnesota Wild were… Continue reading

Coach Hunter wants up-tempo Team Canada as world junior squad hits ice

COLWOOD, B.C. — Team Canada coach Tim Hunter says the team that… Continue reading

Study finds female-led films outperform male ones

NEW YORK — A study organized by Time’s Up, the organization formed… Continue reading

Price Is Right contestant wins winter trip to Winnipeg, Churchill

WINNIPEG — Who wants to visit Winnipeg in the dead of winter?… Continue reading

Most Read