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TFRI News | March 21, 2012

Terry Fox inducted into Canadian Medical Hall of Fame as "medical hero"

Canadian icon Terry Fox is one of seven laureates lauded this year as a medical hero and named to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame on March 21 at the CMHF's 2012 induction ceremony in Toronto. Three others were also inducted posthumously, including Dr. John Macleod, who shared the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Dr. Frederick Banting for their work on the discovery of insulin.

The 2012 inductees recognized with Fox were Dr. John James Macleod (1876-1935); Dr. Armand Frappier (1904-1991), Dr. Peter Macklem (1931-2011), Dr. John Dirks, Dr. F. Clarke Fraser and Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui. These seven distinguished Canadians, whose extraordinary contributions to health care and health research have made the world a better place, join 88 others who are among the select few to be given the honour since 1994.

Fox was recognized as "builder" for his work to raise money for cancer research. "For one magnificent summer, an entire nation ran stride for painful stride with a young man whose desire was to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research, and in doing so, to meet the challenge of the disease that took his leg. Terry Fox did that, calling his dream the Marathon of Hope and uniting a nation around a common cause. And although the cancer he so bravely fought took his life, his legacy was just the beginning. Today hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised globally for cancer research through The Terry Fox Run, held across Canada and around the world," said the CMHF citation.

Read the full CMHF citation about Terry Fox here.

Family members Rolland (Rolly) and Fred Fox, Terry's father and older brother, attended the ceremony. TFRI's board member Dr. Christopher Paige and Quebec Node Leader Dr. Anne-Marie Mes-Masson also attended.

"The Marathon of Hope raised $24 million for cancer research in 1980, yet Terry was penniless. In fact, I think he was rich. Rich with the knowleddge that he had tried his very best and that he had run until he could run no more. Rich with the knowledge that he had shared his definition of giving: to give and not want or expect anything in return. And he was rich and content with the knowledge that his vision of eliminating cancer through medical research was now in the hands of others to continue," said the elder Fox.

Rolly Fox said his family admires the work of the CMHF and held a great appreciation of their efforts to recognize medical heroes and health care difference makers in Canada. He said he and Fred were thankful to be in the presence of other Canadian Medical Hall of Fame inductees who have devoted their lives to advancing health care. "Terry would, with pride, accept this induction, but be quick to acknowledge the Terry Fox volunteers for running with him in 1980 and every year since," said Rolly.

"Terry is the youngest-ever inductee into the CMHF and the first whose achievements were non-professional. From my perspective, Terry has been chosen primarily because of his heroic accomplishment and the impact of the movement that he started. Only four other individuals who were not physicians or scientists have been inducted into the CMHF -- Peter Lougheed, Marc Lalonde, Tommy Douglas and Saint Marguerite d'Youville --," says Carol Cass, a member of the CMHF's Laureate's Selection Committee. Cass is TFRI's Alberta node leader and an emeritus professor of oncology and adjunct professor of biochemistry at the University of Alberta.

Terry joins other notable laureates including: Drs. Charles Best, Norman Bethune, Fraser Mustard, Ernest McCulloch, James Till and Michael Smith.

To view short video documentaries about Terry Fox and the 2012 laureates, click here.

Click here for more information about the 2012 CMHF.