The Town of Richmond Hill honoured Terry Fox and the 35th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope with the unveiling of the Terry Fox Tribute on September 12, 2015.
Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope started on April 12, 1980 in St John’s, Newfoundland and ended just outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario on September 1, 1980. He ran 5,373 kilometres in 143 days, and in July he ran past the Daybreak community where everyone lined Yonge street with their signs to cheer him on.
Ellen reached out to him with a letter of encouragement and friendship when he had to end his run due to deteriorating health – (excerpts)“I hope you get well soon Terry. I hope you are not sick any more because I want you to get back on the road. I would like you to keep in touch, Terry. Daybreak is well, John Bloss and John Smeltzer are doing fine. So is Anne-Marie. Tonight I helped freeze corn. And we had fun this weekend – a corn roast on a fire. – Ellen”
This letter is housed in the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec and is a precious reminder of the engagement, presence, and compassion that persons with an intellectual disability live in their relationships and the world around them every day.
Ellen Weinstein and Anne-Marie Pickard are two Daybreak members who took inspiration from Terry’s courage and continue to inspire others to participate in annual “Terry Fox Runs” that happen across Canada each September. Anne-Marie brings her friends out to the annual event her mother Lola has helped to organize for many years in Sugarbush.