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Royal BC Museum enters 20-year agreement to house iconic Terry Fox collection

Brother says partnership will engage Canadians with ‘Terry’s story of hope, courage and determination’
Terry Fox during his Marathon of Hope run in 1980. (Canadian Press photo)

Every September students across the Canada pound turf or run through neighbourhoods in memory of a young B.C. man with a huge dream.

They learn about the legacy of the Port Coquitlam teen who lost his leg to osteogenic sarcoma, yet planned to cross Canada on foot, running a marathon a day to raise money for cancer research.

Terry Fox was 18 when he embarked on his Marathon of Hope on April 12, 1980. It ended when the cancer that would go on to claim Terry’s life returned, halting his daily marathons on Sept. 1, 1980, in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Now the Royal BC Museum will become stewards of the Fox family’s collection gathered during his life and the Marathon of Hope in a 20-year partnership with the Terry Fox Centre announced April 10.

READ ALSO: B.C. man shares fond memories of Terry Fox and the original Marathon of Hope

“We are excited by how our partnership with the Royal BC Museum will assist us in our efforts to engage Canadians and people worldwide with Terry’s story of hope, courage and determination,” said Darrell Fox on behalf of the family and centre. “Terry is not with us physically, but his shoes, leg, sock and Marathon of Hope t-shirts, together with thousands of other artifacts, will inspire future generations to pursue their dreams while giving back.”

The collection remains in the ownership of the Fox family. It includes iconic items owned and worn by Terry, including the shoes and prosthetic leg he wore on his daily marathons, the van he and his best friend/driver Doug and younger brother Darrell slept in throughout the journey and a large collection of letters written to Terry from school children across the country.

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

“These artifacts serve as powerful reminders of Terry’s indomitable spirit and unwavering dedication to his Marathon of Hope. By safeguarding these pieces of history, we ensure that Terry’s legacy continues to inspire generations to come, encouraging perseverance, resilience, and the pursuit of helping Canadians everywhere,” B.C. Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport Lana Popham said.

Many of the objects included in the collection were once part of the Terry Fox: Running to the Heart of Canada travelling exhibition that was on display at the Royal BC Museum in 2017.

“The Royal BC Museum is proud to work alongside the Terry Fox Centre and Fox family to safeguard and preserve Terry’s legacy, and dream, for future generations,” RBCM CEO Tracey Drake said.