Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Canada plans expanded memorial to cancer activist, amputee Terry Fox

From CTV in B.C.:

Members of Terry Fox's family say they are ready to part with personal memorabilia to set up a museum that would honour the Canadian icon's battle with cancer.

Fox's mother, Betty, was speaking at the unveiling Jan. 18 of four bronze statues of her son to be erected at BC Place. She said there needs to be one place where her son's journey can be preserved.

"It may be time to consider a place where we can walk inside and within four walls, truly experience the Marathon of Hope -- a place where the lives of cancer survivors and those like Terry, who are no longer with us, can be celebrated," Fox said.

Premier Gordon Campbell joined Fox's family to unveil plans for the new memorial that will replace a 27-year-old monument that currently graces the stadium.

The current memorial site is being replaced as part of ongoing renovations at BC Place, home to the BC Lions, to install a retractable roof.

Fox said she envisions a national Terry Fox Centre that would be a place for all things Terry.

"The Terry Fox collection is a priceless piece of Canada's heritage, but after 30 years, the collection is spread over numerous Lower Mainland and valley locations. We have been told...if the collection is not protected now we stand to lose it," said Fox.

Although Terry Fox was born in Winnipeg, he grew up in Port Coquitlam, B.C.

"I have cared for and deeply cherished Terry's more personal items but understand and accept that it might be time to trust them to another," said Fox.

Among the items Fox has is her son's artificial leg, which he used to run 5,373 kilometres until the cancer spread to his lungs and he was forced to stop his Marathon of Hope outside of Thunder Bay, Ont.

Fox died June 28, 1981 and his legacy has continued in annual Terry Fox runs around the world that have raised more than half a billion dollars for cancer research.

The new memorial was designed by artist and author Douglas Coupland, with the four statues replicating the distinctive gait of Terry Fox.

"When you put these bronzes in sequence, they become a sort of frozen animation depicting Terry's legendary running motion that Canadians became familiar with in the summer of 1980," Coupland said.

Campbell said he hopes the statues will build on Terry's connection with B.C.