West of Nipigon, highways 17 and 11 combine as the Terry Fox Courage Highway, named after Terrance Stanley Fox (1958–81), one of modern Canada’s most remarkable figures. At the age of 18, Fox developed cancer and had to have his right leg amputated. Determined to advance the search for a cure, he planned a money-raising run from coast to coast and on April 12, 1980, he set out from St John’s, Newfoundland. For 143 days he ran 26 painful miles a day, covering five provinces by June and raising $34m. In September, at mile 3339, just outside Thunder Bay, lung cancer forced Terry to abandon his run; he returned home to Port Coqitlam, BC, where he died the following summer. Several hundred million dollars have now been raised for cancer research in his name and, in his honour, the Terry Fox Monument, a finely crafted bronze statue, has been placed on top of a ridge in a little park above the highway just to the east of Thunder Bay.

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