Ryan Reynolds partners with Terry Fox Foundation for third year

The Terry Fox Foundation said that last year, with Reynolds’ help, they broke records and that, this year, they hope to do even better

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Once again, actor and Vancouverite Ryan Reynolds has teamed up with the Terry Fox Foundation to sell limited-edition shirts, with the proceeds going to cancer research.

As a Vancouverite, the Terry Fox Run has held a special place in my heart and I’m thrilled to once again partner with the Terry Fox Foundation to help launch this year’s shirt in support of this important cause,” Reynolds said in a press release. “I know the strength and perseverance Terry demonstrated continues to serve as an inspiration to me and millions of Canadians.”

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The shirts, produced by Adidas for the 44th annual Terry Fox Run, are $25 for the t-shirt, $35 for the long-sleeve shirt, and $40 for the performance tee. The front features a picture of Terry Fox during his run across Canada with the words “No matter what” overlaid on top, meant to celebrate Terry’s unwavering determination in his 1980 run across Canada. The back says: “No matter the distance. No matter the obstacles. No matter the journey. No matter the odds. No matter what. Terry Fox Run for cancer research.”

Fred Fox, Terry’s older brother, said the phrase “No matter what” encapsulates Terry’s attitude during his run.

“When he was first diagnosed with cancer, he was going to get through it,” Fox said in an interview with the National Post. “No matter how hard the day or the weather was, he felt it was important to be doing what he was doing, and he was going to get through it.”

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In 1977, when Terry Fox was 18 years old, he was diagnosed with bone cancer near his right knee. The treatment at the time was amputation and chemotherapy. Fox’s experience showed him how little money was being dedicated to cancer research at the time and, after being inspired by an article about Dick Traum, the first amputee to complete the New York Marathon, Fox decided he would run to raise money for cancer research.

On April 12, 1980, beginning in Newfoundland, Fox dipped his right leg into the Atlantic Ocean and planned to run all the way across Canada to Victoria.

In Ontario, after 143 days and more than 5,000 kilometres, Fox ended the run to receive more treatment as doctors had discovered that the cancer had returned and made its way to his lungs.

Fox died on June 28, 1981. That September, the first Terry Fox Run was coordinated. This year’s run is on Sept. 15.

“Before his cancer diagnosis, he was probably a little self-centred… he was a teenager” Fred Fox said. “He saw others, young and older, going through the same thing, and that completely changed his perspective on life, that it was more important to help other people than to worry about yourself. That’s what Terry was, a humanitarian, he wanted to make a difference in other people’s lives.”

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The partnership with Reynolds began in 2022, when Reynolds, among other celebrities, posted a picture of himself wearing a shirt with Terry Fox’s likeness on it. In 2023, Reynolds and the Terry Fox Foundation teamed up to sell shirts with the proceeds going to cancer research. Fred Fox said that with Reynolds’ help last year, they were able to break records and expand knowledge of Terry’s journey beyond Canadian borders. He said they hope to do even better this year.

“We always like to thank all of those people, here in Canada and around the world, that have been supporting Terry’s dream and legacy for many, many years,” Fred Fox said. “When it comes to the Terry Fox Run it does not happen without the volunteers, participants and donors that come out every year, so we always want to send a big shout to them.”

Fundraising and registration for this year’s Terry Fox Run begins, as always, on April 12, the anniversary of Fox’s Marathon of Hope.

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