Ali, Gretzky, Crosby and Orr are some of the autographs you’ll find attached to some one-of-a-kind pairs of running shoes issued for a major cancer fundraiser.
The Terry Fox Foundation has announced plans for a celebrity auction in which 12 pairs of 25th Anniversary Terry Fox Limited Edition Replica Shoes, signed by 12 world-class athletes, will be auctioned on eBay starting on August 31. All proceeds from the sales of the shoes will be donated directly to cancer research.
The signed shoes feature the signatures of Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest athletes of all time and a personal inspiration to Terry Fox, and 11 great Canadian athletes including Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, Cindy Klassen, Kurt Browning, Mike Weir, Donovan Bailey, Larry Walker, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe, Silken Laumann and Catriona LeMay Doan. Each athlete has signed one stripe on each pair of the replica shoes.
Fox, who grew up in Canada’s western provinces, was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer and forced to have his right leg amputated six inches above the knee in 1977.
While hospitalized, Fox was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research, calling his journey the Marathon of Hope. His goal was to cover the country from east to west and raise $1 for every Canadian. The run became an international news story, but on September 1, Fox was forced to stop his journey in Thunder Bay, Ontario when the cancer had spread to his lungs. He died in 1981 at age 22.
The inaugural run may have ended after 3,339 miles, but his memory and mission lives on each year as millions of Canadians support Terry Fox Runs across the country and around the world.
The first Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research was organized in 1981 in conjunction with the Canadian Cancer Society. In 1988, The Terry Fox Foundation became an independent trust and has continued to pursue Fox’s dream of finding a cure for cancer. To date, The Foundation has raised over $400 million dollars. This year, the run will take place on September 16 across Canada and in 40 countries around the world.
“It is such an honor to have been asked by The Terry Fox Foundation to participate in this exciting initiative,” said Catriona LeMay Doan. “Over the last 27 years, The Terry Fox Foundation has worked hard to perpetuate Terry’s legacy and I hope that through The Terry Fox Foundation Celebrity Auction we can remind Canadians of Terry’s remarkable achievements and keep his dream alive.”
The exclusive collector’s item shoes have journeyed thousands of kilometres across Canada and the United States in a custom-made protective case. The case was escorted and hand delivered to each of the athletes for their autograph. The 25th Anniversary Terry Fox Limited Edition Replica Shoe, called the Orion TF, is true to the 1979 model that Terry ran in for 26 miles a day, for 143 days straight.
The shoes will be auctioned on eBay (www.ebay.ca/terryfox) for 10 days as part of a worldwide auction starting on August 31. Packaged in a limited edition collector’s case, each pair of the indigo blue shoes — with a map of the Marathon of Hope on the sole liner — will be accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.