Hobby Outposts from the North: Searching for Terry Fox – This past Monday was a holiday across Canada, with most provinces simply calling the time August Long Weekend.
Manitoba, however, is a bit different. Amid one of the hottest months of the year (and yes, we do get VERY hot here – nuzzling the 100 degree Fahrenheit mark), the once informal holiday was recently made over to commemorate one of our bravest residents and one of our nation’s greatest heroes, Terry Fox.
Fox‘s story has been re-told several times over in film, documentary, book and other media. A cancer patient, Fox, who had one leg amputated due to the advanced stages of the disease in his body, embarked on a country-wide Marathon of Hope in 1980. Unfortunately, his trek was stopped just north of 140 days and with 3,339 miles crossed, due to the cancer spreading. In 1981, Fox passed away.
Fox‘s bravery has inspired countless individuals across Canada and the globe. Today, over 60 countries participate in the annual Terry Fox Run, and, since its founding in 1981, the charitable event has raised over $750 million Canadian.
Even before starting the Marathon of Hope, Fox was a dedicated athlete, including playing university basketball and, following his amputation, wheelchair basketball. Fox won the Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s top male athlete in 1980.
Though Fox is widely considered to be one of Canada’s greatest icons, the hobby world has sparsely commemorated his efforts. Thorough searches on collector listing engines revealed that only one product – In The Game’s Canadiana set (released in 2011), counted trading cards dedicated to the brave Winnipeg-born advocate. The product included both base cards and a red parallel version.
The coin market, meanwhile, has a couple pieces thanks to the Royal Canadian Mint, which emblazoned the 2005 Loonie ($1 coin) with an image of Fox. As the Mint normally does, several commemorative pieces were issued along with the circulation coin.
Most recently, shoe collectors had their opportunity to celebrate this incredible individual, as Adidas replicated the shoes Fox wore during the Marathon of Hope and sold them in mid-May to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the trek, with full proceeds going to the Terry Fox Foundation. The shoes were an instant hit, selling out in mere minutes according to a CTV story. Adidas also sold commemorative ringer tees, again with all proceeds going to the charitable cause.
Still, it’s a shame that companies aren’t doing more to recognize Fox. These three products do not seem enough for such a courageous individual who fought through immeasurable pain and trauma to raise funds and awareness for the deadly disease that claimed his life.
Hopefully more products will be created soon that will honor Terry Fox’s bravery and share his story with a new generation of collectors.
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