Terry’s Dream

Introductory graphics explore Terry’s dream to find a cure for cancer through research and the incredible advances since his diagnosis. Terry’s goal was to raise $1 from every Canadian. Today, over $700 million has been raised through Terry Fox Runs around the world. The Terry Fox Foundation has been able to provide millions of dollars to cancer researchers across Canada through the Terry Fox Research Institute.

What is Cancer?

Until a loved one or ourselves are diagnosed with cancer, we may not think about what it is. A central large-scale model of a cell dividing gives visitors a close up. Graphics expand on the basics, giving visitors the opportunity to know and understand this mysterious “enemy”.

There are over 200 types of cancer. A wall treatment lists all of the types of cancer and some are represented in touchable artistic reconstructions of cancer cells. Visitors gain a new understanding of cancer, which reduces fear and anxiety. Some visitors recognize the name of their own cancer

Curing Cancer: meeting the challenge

In this area, visitors step into the role of doctors and researchers. Larger-than-life figures of a variety of “real” people are placed in active poses. Visitors use scanners to find a cancer hiding in these seemingly healthy figures.

Once visitors find a cancer, they bring their scanner to a nearby terminal and dock it. They explore an interactive program where they learn the history of treatment for the particular cancer and see today’s treatments. One section of the program answers questions that patients and their families often have—Will I be able to work? What are the recovery rates? Testimonials from people thriving after having cancer bring authentic and positive voices to the experience. Terry’s dream is being realized.

Another exhibit in this area may help visitors explore their own risk factors for cancer. Large-scale switches can be turned on or off depending on factors like family history, dietary choices, exercise and age.

Real Research

This presentation area focuses on the latest research projects, discoveries and technologies from across Canada. Regular, scheduled talks and live chats allow visitors to see a researcher in their lab at work and ask questions. When there is no scheduled presentation, visitors explore graphics and images from current TFRI research. These researchers are all inspired by Terry’s dream and work tirelessly to improve patient outcomes and quality of life. Yearly updates keep this space current

Canadian Discoveries

While they wait for the next showing in the Canadian Discoveries theatre, visitors explore a dynamic touch-screen wall made up of connected monitors. Several visitors use the screens at the same time, as they choose different discoveries to explore—diving deep into each article or quickly skimming and flipping.

In the Canadian Discoveries theatre visitors enter and find a seat for a programmed show that takes visitors on an emotional, inspiring, and at times humorous, journey through Canadian cancer discoveries. Visitors are surprised and uplifted by the incredible work done in Canada and how far cancer treatment has advanced since Terry’s diagnosis.


The final exhibit area brings visitors back to reflect on our host, Terry Fox: his journey, his inspiring act, and the pursuit of his dream, which continues today. Words of those inspired by Terry are heartfelt reminders that all of us can take something away from his story.

The sound of water will create a private place where the noise of the Centre can be muffled. Cancer has touched many of us personally. This reflective space is a destination for survivors and families of loved ones who have lost their fight with cancer. It offers a calm space for reflection and perhaps an offering of a memento.

But I might not make it….If I do not the Marathon of Hope better continue. - Terry Fox