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1981: Terry Fox dies

The Story

One month before his 23rd birthday, Terry Fox dies peacefully at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, B.C. "Terry has completed the last kilometre of his marathon," says deputy director of nursing Alison Sinson. "He left a legacy of hope that I think will live and will become part of our nation's heritage."

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: June 28, 1981
Guests: Ladislav Antonik, Alison Sinson
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Sheldon Turcott
Duration: 2:23

Did You know?

• Terry Fox slipped into a coma and died on June 28, 1981 at 4:35 a.m. Deputy director of nursing, Alison Sinson, who knew Terry as a patient for over four years, stayed in hospital with him for a week without going home.

• Doctors decided not to use artificial life support "so Terry could have dignity in death as he had in life."

• The flags on all Canadian federal buildings were lowered to half-mast from Terry's death until his funeral, an honour normally reserved for distinguished statesmen and politicians.

• Shortly before he died Terry said, "Maybe now instead of being afraid and saying 'Look how hard Terry tried and he still got cancer,' instead people will say 'look at the effort he put in and he died of cancer -- we're really going to have to try hard in order to beat it, harder than we ever have before.'"


Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope more