A 1980 Ford Econoline Van will not be the fastest or flashiest automobile to be featured at the Vancouver International Auto Show next week, but it is sure to make visitors take pause and elicit an emotional response unlike any other vehicle at the event.
The Van of Hope is the vehicle that supported Terry Fox during his Marathon of Hope in 1980 during which he became a national hero and captured the hearts of Canadians. Tragically, Terry passed away at the age of 22.
For brother Darrell, who lives in Chilliwack and who accompanied Terry on the Marathon of Hope, the van is synonymous with the journey they shared together and also serves as a source of reflection for Canadians.
“Almost 40 years later, the van takes people back to where they were when Terry began his journey and where they were when he was forced to stop,” Darrell said.
“It is amazing to see the response that people have when they see the van and the impact it has on them. When we open the doors, the memories and the stories just flow out.
“I never tire of discussing that period because it holds a place in my memory that I go back to every single day. The image of Terry running and the physical feat he performed each and every day continues to have an impact. He wanted to try and do the impossible and that’s exactly what he did.
“I know that Terry’s legacy and memory will continue to endure, thanks in part to artifacts like the Van of Hope.”
The Marathon of Hope raised $24 million for cancer research and in the ensuing years, an estimated $700 million has been raised as a result of continuing fundraising efforts, including the annual Terry Fox Run that occurs in Canada and in other countries around the world.
The Vancouver Auto Show, runs March 19 to 24 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For more details on the show visit www.VancouverInternationalAutoShow.com.