Terry Fox’s sister Judith Fox unveiled a stamp today honouring her brother’s remarkable Marathon of Hope in 1980, which inspired Canadians, captivated a country, and launched a lasting legacy across Canada and around the world.
Judith Fox unveiled the stamp at a ceremony at City Hall in St. John’s, N.L., not far from Mile 0 – the spot where the Marathon of Hope began on April 12, 1980 when Terry Fox dipped his artificial right leg into the Atlantic Ocean. Children from Roncalli Elementary in St. John’s also participated in today’s ceremony and proudly displayed posters explaining how Fox has inspired them to believe they can achieve whatever goals they have in life.
Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope is one of the most identifiable and cherished events in Canadian history. It remains an enduring symbol of courage, selflessness and hope.
Fox was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer and had his right leg amputated. Three years later, Fox launched his Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer research. He ran close to a marathon a day (approximately 42 kilometres) for 143 days, raising millions of dollars during the run and immediately afterward. Fox ran a total of 5,373 kilometres – more than halfway across Canada – before having to stop his Marathon of Hope near Thunder Bay, Ont. on Sept. 1, 1980 because cancer had spread to his lungs.
Fox continues to be a hero to generations of Canadians who honour his legacy by participating in the annual Terry Fox Run at locations around the world. The Terry Fox Foundation, which organizes the runs, has raised more than $700 million worldwide for cancer research, while the Terry Fox Research Institute is helping to improve health outcomes for cancer patients everywhere. Fox’s determination and amazing achievement have also changed public perceptions of people with physical disabilities.
The Marathon of Hope is the sixth of 10 stamps being issued by Canada Post to celebrate Canada 150. The stamps mark unforgettable moments in Canada since our country’s centennial in 1967.
Each stamp in the set has been unveiled by a distinguished Canadian individual or group related to the moment being celebrated. The location of each stamp launch also directly relates to the moment being commemorated. The first stamp, celebrating Expo 67, was unveiled in Montréal by Habitat 67 architect Moshe Safdie on April 27, while the stamp honouring the Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was unveiled on Parliament Hill on May 3 with the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada. The third stamp, which pays tribute to the Canadarm and Canadian innovation, was unveiled by Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen during a recorded event at a Toronto school and released online May 4.
The fourth stamp, commemorating the 2005 passage of the Civil Marriage Act – which made marriage equality the law in Canada – was unveiled in Toronto on May 9 in partnership with The 519, an organization that supports the LGBTQ community. The fifth stamp, celebrating the Trans-Canada Highway, was unveiled in Regina on May 16 by Canadian country music superstar Dean Brody. The next stamp in the Canada 150 set will be unveiled in Iqaluit on May 30.
The remaining stamps will be unveiled individually at cities across the country, the last of them on June 1.
Each of the 10 maple-leaf shaped die-cut Permanent domestic-rate stamps measures 40 mm x 40 mm and is printed in 6 colours plus tagging. The self-adhesive stamps are available in a booklet of 10 (4 million stamps). A gummed pane of 10 stamps, with circle perforations 4.5 cm in diameter, is also available (80,000 panes). Official First Day Covers, one for each stamp design and each cancelled in OTTAWA ON, are available in a pack of 10 (10,000 packs). The stamp issue was designed by Roy White and Liz Wurzinger of Subplot Design Inc. in Vancouver, B.C., and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group.