Dollar coin honours Terry Fox

A new Terry Fox dollar will be the 1st Canadian coin with a Canadian's image on it.

The inspirational one-legged runner who asked each Canadian to give a dollar to his Marathon of Hope has wound up 25 years later on the face of a $1 coin.

The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled the new Terry Fox coin at a ceremony at Simon Fraser University on Monday that was carried live on CBC Newsworld and as a webcast, and was shown to children in schools across the country.

The new dollar, which will go into general circulation on April 4, is the first Canadian coin to have the image of a Canadian on it. The Queen's image is on the obverse side.

Terry Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer in 1977, when he was 18 years old, and his right leg was amputated above the knee.

While he was recovering in hospital with other cancer patients, he decided to overcome his handicap and to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.

Terry Fox started in St. John's on April 12, 1980 – running a marathon's length, 42 kilometres, almost every day as he passed through the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario. After 143 days and 5,373 kilometres, he had to stop running outside of Thunder Bay because cancer appeared in his lungs. He died a few months later, aged 22.

Terry Fox's goal in the Marathon of Hope was to raise $22 million – $1 for every person then living in Canada. Since he started running, more than $360 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in his name.

Terry Fox's brother Darrell, who was at the ceremony along with his parents and two other siblings, said Terry would have been overwhelmed and embarrassed by the coin.

He suggested that instead of calling it a loonie, Canadians should refer to the new coin as a Terry.