On this day in 1980 (April 12), Port Coquitlam hero Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope to raise funds and awareness for cancer research.
Today, his namesake foundation said funds raised through its 2023 Terry Fox Run T-shirt pre-sale campaign have reached more than $1 million — thanks to another B.C. icon.
The Ryan Reynolds-designed "Dear Terry" tribute garment surpassed the milestone on the 43rd anniversary of when Fox dipped his prosthetic foot into the Atlantic Ocean in St. John's, N.L.
That was the start of his ambitious goal of reaching the other side of Canada, while collecting $1 from every Canadian that chose to come out and support him.
Fox clocked 5,373 km just outside of Thunder Bay, Ont., in under five months, as well as raising more than $1.7 million for cancer research.
However, the 22-year-old was forced to end the Marathon of Hope after cancer appeared in his lungs, causing intense pain as he tried to run.
Fox died the following year on June 28, 1981.
Since the end of the marathon, nearly $1 billion has been raised through the Terry Fox Foundation by various initiatives and regular donors around the world.
Shirts shipping today
According to the foundation, the "Dear Terry" shirts are expected to be shipped as early as today, coinciding with Fox's historic anniversary.
Reynolds was approached to help design the shirt, which features an image of Fox, the words "Dear Terry" in handwriting in English and French, and messages people sent to Terry while he was on his run.
"This shirt I helped design for @TerryFoxCanada isn't just a shirt," Reynolds said in a social media post today about the accomplishment. "It's helping countless cancer patients and raising an incredible amount of money.
"I've been inspired by the courage of Terry Fox since 2nd grade. He was the ultimate [Canadian] superhero."
The long-sleeved version the Deadpool and Free Guy actor models is $35; there is a short-sleeved T-shirt — also available in sizes XS to XXXL — for $25 plus a run performance tee for $40 in sizes S to XL.
The 43rd annual Terry Fox Run is on Sept. 17, 2023, and takes place in Fox's hometown, Port Coquitlam, starting at 10 a.m. in front of the Hyde Creek Recreation Centre.
The Terry Fox Foundation said those who register today will be entered for a chance to win a "Dear Terry" shirt signed by Reynolds.
You can check out the Terry Fox Foundation's website for online orders and more details.
@tricitynews Heroes supporting heroes. 🤝 #tricitynews #portcoquitlam #terryfox #terryfoxrun #ryanreynolds #greenscreen ♬ original sound - TriCityNews