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Reliving Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope: Day 20 near Corner Brook, N.L.

The Story

Some scenes of Terry Fox's run are so familiar they are almost iconic. But you probably haven't seen this long-lost interview with the legendary runner. In 2005, the CBC rediscovered a Terry Fox tape listed simply as "Near Corner Brook." On it was this seven-minute roadside interview. Sporting a fuzzy toque and full sweatsuit, Terry Fox talks to CBC reporter Joe Mullins about everything from his family and chemotherapy to his malfunctioning artificial leg and his diet on the road.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News
Broadcast Date: May 1, 1980
Guest: Terry Fox
Reporter: Joe Mullins
Duration: 7:10

Did You know?

• In this interview, Terry Fox talks about the workings (and failings) of his artificial leg. The leg he used was primitive by today's standards, but nonetheless was an efficient design of adjustable-tension springs, gears and fiberglass. The valve he discusses with reporter Joe Mullins was designed to release pressure from around the stump of Terry's amputated leg. Despite the daily pounding the artificial leg took, it rarely broke down.

• Terry Fox wrote the following of his run through Corner Brook: "One Roman Catholic School I will never forget. They sang a song to receive me. Part of the words were: 'Thank you, Lord, for giving us Terry.' It was beautiful, it really brought tears to my eyes." This was All Hallows School; Terry later learned that children there had donated all their recess money to his run.

• Terry had a heart condition called ventricular hypertrophy, an enlarged heart caused by the inflammation of a valve. It can be congenital, or it may be brought on by stress such as hypertension or heavy exercise (many athletes have the condition). Terry believed it was caused by his chemotherapy treatments. As far as the Marathon of Hope was concerned, Terry's heart condition was considered a more serious threat than the idea that his cancer might return.

• Terry had his heart X-rayed once before the starting his Marathon of Hope, but would not have it X-rayed again. A National Cancer Institute doctor became concerned by reports, and booked a medical examination for Terry in Corner Brook. Terry skipped the appointment.

• This CBC roadside interview with Terry Fox was only recently rediscovered in the CBC archives. The original tape was not catalogued in the national system, and only resurfaced in 2005.

• The interviewer in this item is Joe Mullins, who was born in Corner Brook and once served as its deputy mayor. Mullins himself donated much of his life to charity, regularly hosting the Janeway Children's Hospital telethon. He died of a heart attack just after introducing a food drive at a Corner Brook seniors' hockey game in 2002.


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