Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope lasted 143 days, but watching his commercial will only cost you sixty seconds.
The latest Heritage Minute from the federal government and Historica Canada celebrates the 35 anniversary of Fox’s 5,373 kilometre run (which is almost the same distance between Toronto and London, U.K.). But unlike the other formulaic minutes you might have seen in the past, this one has a special twist.
The star of the commercial is Jay Hummonem, who was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma at age 16. Not only did he acquire the exact same kind of cancer as Fox, he also lost his leg to it. But unlike the Canadian legend, Hummonem beat his cancer in large part because of the cancer research Fox raised so much money for.
In other words, they couldn’t have picked a better guy to play the Canadian legend.
“I’m not special. Cancer happens to people all the time…” Hummonem says as the commercial starts off. “I take one mile at a time, twenty-six miles a day.”
Why Historica Canada would choose to measure their distances in “miles” is beyond us (Fox ran 42 kilometers a day, thank you very much), but the clip is nonetheless inspiring. We hear Fox’s panting and see his trademark uneven stride throughout, reminding us just how lofty his goal of crossing our massive country really was.
Since the first Terry Fox run in 1981, the foundation in his name has raised more than $700 million for cancer research–far more than his goal of one dollar for every Canadian. The 35th annual run will take place in communities across the country Sunday, Sept. 20.
You can check out the entire commercial right here.