Terry Fox, Marathon of Hope
Date of Issue
April 13, 1982
Perforation or Dimension
Designed by Friedrich G. Peter.
Terry Fox was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on 28 July 1958, and later moved with his family to Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. He had a strong desire to play for his junior high school basketball team, although he was not really tall enough and lacked the natural ability for the game. But he was always noted for his determination and made the team through hard work. Long hours of practice turned him into a skilful player, and his tenacity later won him a spot on the Simon Fraser University junior varsity. On 12 November 1976, Terry escaped from an automobile accident with a sore right knee. In December the pain recurred, but he ignored it and finished the basketball season. Early in March 1977 the knee rapidly deteriorated. A bone specialist diagnosed cancer. The night before doctors amputated his right leg, Terry received a copy of a magazine describing a one-legged runner. That night Terry Fox decided to run across Canada. He recovered rapidly from the surgery and withstood the painful chemotherapy treatments that followed. The cancer had apparently not spread. He was grateful that cancer research had saved his life; nevertheless, the suffering he had seen at the cancer clinic had disturbed him greatly. The thought that he could promote research and encourage other cancer victims made him more determined than ever to run across Canada. He began training in February 1979 and ran every day, no matter how foul the weather Despite blisters, bone bruises, lost toenails, cysts, and bleedings sores, he piled up over 5000 km of training. Meanwhile, he worked on the logistics of the Marathon of Hope. On 12 April 1980, he dipped his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean at St. John's, Newfoundland, and set off for the Pacific Coast. The next day a 65 km-an-hour wind slowed him down, but he covered 32 km. The following day he did 26 km on an icy, blizzard-swept road. By 11 July, when 10,000 people welcomed him to Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, donations for cancer research were pouring in. In August, he was past Sault Ste. Marie and breezing up hills, perhaps better described as mountains. However, a persistent cough had appeared, and on 1 September 1980, after he had run 35 km, severe chest pains forced him into hospital at Thunder Bay. Doctors discovered that the cancer had spread to both lungs. Terry died on 28 June 1981, having raised more than $23,000,000 for cancer research. The youth of Terry Fox made his heroic achievement all the more admirable, and Vancouver graphic artist Friedrich Peter, an instructor at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design, has conveyed both these ideas in his dramatic stamp design.
Canada Post Corporation. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1982.
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