360 Million Reasons to Vote For Terry Fox

I just watched (and got kind of choked up by) the Terry Fox episode of The Greatest Canadian. Despite my slight but inexplicable disdain for Suk-Yin Lee, it was pretty compelling television. Don’t get me wrong, the show is goofy. However, Terry’s is a story worth telling again and again. Notably, Wayne Gretzky (currently sitting in a respectable fifth, with a great quote) threw his support behind Terry Fox.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s no other choice on the top-ten list. He was only 22, yet his selflessness, his compassion and his tenacity were superhuman, and belied his years. He ran a marathon every day for 143 days. His legacy has raised over CAN $360 million for cancer research in 50 countries. That funny step-hop-step of his running pace is the heartbeat of Canada.

The CBC has an excellent audio and video archive of important dates in Terry’s Marathon of Hope.


  1. If nothing else, please vote for the Greatest Canadian so that Don Cherry doesn’t win. Right now, he’s in 2nd place.

  2. The NDP has been pushing Tommy Douglas through weekly emailings. I don’t know why I haven’t hit the damn “unsubscribe” button yet on those newsletters. I guess I feel it’s democratic to be getting spam from at least one major political party.

  3. In Souvenir of Canada 2, Douglas Coupland wrote that Terry Fox is the only person that every Canadian agrees on. Fox would be a fine choice for greatest Canadian.

  4. It’s a toss-up between Terry Fox and Tommy Douglas. Both were passionate men who fought for what they believed in and never let the obstacles weight them down.

    (Talking about the presenters, I too have always had a problem with Sook-Yin Lee. I think it’s just the attitude that she projects: It’s sort of a “I’m cool and you’re not” vibe that bugs me. George Stromboulopoulous, on the other hand, was absolutely endearing in his handling of Tommy’s story.)

  5. In one of the linked audio interviews, a reporter is talking to Terry in St. John’s at the very beginning of the Run. The reporter asks Terry how much money he hopes to raise through his efforts, to which the response is, “I’m not sure… but maybe over a million dollars”. Perhaps a bit incredulous, the reporter responds, “And do you think that’s attainable?”
    Twenty years later, and over $360 million has been raised? Wow.

  6. I just looked at the webpage for The Greatest Canadian.

    I was ashamed to see that Oscar Peterson wasn’t voted into the top 100. Avril Lavigne was fortieth.

  7. I’ll have to agree with Devon – Tommy Douglas is the choice, I think, and the Stromboulopoulous show was much stronger television, to boot.

    Mr. Fox was noble and brave, and certainly did wonders for his small target (ie. raising money for cancer research), however I believe ultimately the hallmarks of the work of Douglas are all around us, and his vision and actions did substantially more to define and then create the society of today.

  8. Wow Terry you are my hero!! My question for you is how much money did you come up with when you stopped running?

    Your friend, Kaitlyn

  9. yo wat up my terry fox lovers give a clap 4 this dude he fighted a battle i couldnt imagine

    info. born on july 28 1958
    died at the age of 22 on june 28 1981
    he was born in manitoba

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