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Terry Fox

Terrance Stanley Fox (July 28, 1958 - June 28, 1981) was a Canadian athlete, cancer victim & activist. His name is one of the most recognizable in the country.

Terry Fox was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and was raised in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada. After losing his leg to cancer, the young athlete decided to run from coast to coast in order to raise money for cancer research. Beginning by dipping his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean at St. John's, Newfoundland, he aimed to dip it again in the Pacific Ocean at Vancouver, British Columbia.

He could not finish his run, however, as the cancer spread to his lungs and he abandoned the course near Marathon, Ontario, near Thunder Bay. He died soon afterwards. However, his Marathon of Hope captured the nation's attention who proclaimed him a national hero, and it and the annual Terry Fox Run events organized all across Canada, in the United States, and in other countries around the world, have raised more than $300-million for cancer research.

Terry Fox's heroism has inspired other Canadians to similar feats in the name of charitable causes. This has included Steve Fonyo, another runner who also had a leg amputated due to cancer and who retraced the same route of Terry Fox and then proceeded to complete the run to the west coast in the name of cancer research. A close friend of Fox, Rick Hansen, a paraplegic athlete, was also inspired by Terry to make his own trek around the world in his wheelchair to raise funds for spinal injury research.

In a public opinion poll Terry Fox was voted the most famous Canadian of the 20th Century.

Honours For Terry Fox

September 18, 1980 – Terry Fox was made the youngest Companion of the Order of Canada in history for his outstanding contribution to the cause of cancer research.

October 21, 1980 – The Province of British Columbia’s highest civilian award.

November 22, 1980 – The American Cancer Society awarded Terry Fox their highest honour.

December 18, 1980 – Sports editors from across Canada voted Terry Fox their annual award for his outstanding athletic accomplishment.

December 23, 1980 – The editors of Canadian Press member newspapers and the radio and television stations serviced by Broadcast News voted Terry Fox, Canadian of the Year.

June 6, 1981 – Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia issued a new medal in his honour to be awarded annually to a student showing courage in the face of adversity.

July 17, 1981 – The government of British Columbia named a 2,639-metre (8,658 foot) peak in the Rocky Mountains after him.

July 30, 1981 – The 83-kilometre (52 mile) section of the Trans-Canada Highway in Ontario where Terry Fox was forced to end his run, was re-named in his honour.

July 30, 1981 – The Canadian government created a $5 million endowment fund to provide annual scholarships to students who demonstrate the highest ideals and qualities of citizenship and humanitarian service while in pursuit of excellence in academic, sport, and community service endeavours.

August 29, 1981 – Terry Fox was posthumously inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

April 13, 1982 – A Terry Fox Stamp was issued by Canada Post who broke with tradition that no commemorative stamp be issued until 10 years after the death of the honouree. On January 17, 2000, Terry Fox was honoured a second time on a Canadian postage stamp as part of the prestigious "Millennium Collection" recognizing influential and distinguished Canadians of the 20th Century.

June 26, 1982 – A 2.7-metre (9 foot) bronze statue of Terry Fox was unveiled on the section of the Trans-Canada highway named for him.

January 18, 1986 - Port Coquitlam Senior Secondary School renamed in honour of its 1976 graduate, Terry Fox. The original school has since become home to both a Christian Academy and French Immersion school. A new Terry Fox Secondary School was built several kilometres from the original site and opened in 1999.

1992 - The Canadian Coast Guard purchased a new heavy icebreaker and named it the CCGS Terry Fox.

June 30, 1999 – Terry Fox was voted Canada's Greatest Hero in a national survey conducted by the Dominion Institute and the Council for Canadian Unity.

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