Royal B.C. Museum spotlights Terry Fox for 150th celebration

Royal B.C. Museum spotlights Terry Fox for 150th celebration

An exhibit on Terry Fox and his family will kickstart the Royal B.C. Museum's celebrations for Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation.

For the anniversary, the Victoria, B.C. museum is focusing on the contributions of Canadian families.

Part of the celebrations include a special exhibit on Terry Fox.

Fox lost part of his right leg to bone cancer and set out to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research in 1980.

His cancer returned before he could complete his journey, but the campaign — and subsequent annual campaigns commemorating his efforts — have raised over $650 million for cancer research according to the Terry Fox Foundation.

The exhibit captures the Port Coquitlam resident's life through film and personal miscellaneous items from his Marathon of Hope.

Lorne Hammond, the curator of history at the Royal B.C. Museum, says the exhibit will allow people to really get to know the 18-year-old behind the hero.

One of the highlights of the exhibit, he says, is the Econoline camper van from his Marathon of Hope completely restored to its original glory.

The van itself has an interesting history.

It was sponsored by Ford Canada and after the run, Hammond explained, the van was sold on a car lot to a young family who used it as a camping van.

Hammond believes the van changed hands a few times before ending up in Vancouver, used by a punk rock band on their cross-Canada tour.

The Canadian Museum of History acquired the van and Ford helped restore the van.

"One of the things that Darryl Fox (Terry's brother) said was everything was restored except the smell because back then there were three young men living 24/7 in this van with a chemical toilet, with their sneakers, their laundry, and the food they cooked in it. A lot of people said during the run that the odour coming out of the van kept a lot of people at bay!"

The Terry Fox exhibit opens on April 12 — the anniversary of the day the run started — and runs until October 1.

Listen to the full interview with curator Lorne Hammond on CBC's On the Island: