Trudy Plante had a bond with Terry Fox that only she and her close friends and family knew about.
“I knew Terry was sick long before anybody else knew,” she said.
Plante, who lives in New Westminster, was pen pals with Fox and the two often spoke on the phone.
Plante first met Fox about a week after he began his Marathon of Hope in April 1980. The mayor of a Newfoundland town was hosting Fox and Plante and a few of her friends showed up to drop off donations.
“We spent the evening and we all had a great time and so we exchanged addresses and phone numbers,” Plante said.
She didn’t think to keep any of Fox’s hand-written letters but her late mother did.
“There’s one part that I read over and over again when he tells me that that was the most special night,” Plante said.
WATCH: Royal BC Museum Terry Fox exhibit
In one letter, Fox wrote about the night they met in Newfoundland, saying it was “it will always be one of my best memories on the trip.”
An entry in Fox’s journal revealed another secret about that night in Newfoundland.
“He’s not supposed to kiss and tell but I guess he did,” Plante said with a laugh.
A new exhibit honouring Terry Fox opened at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria on Wednesday.
The letter includes a letter Plante had written to Terry Fox.
Plante gasped when the letter from the museum exhibit was read out to her.
“Oh god. I can’t believe he kept it,” she said. “That’s amazing. I’m shocked.”
A curator at the museum said Plante’s mementoes could be worth a lot, but she would never think of selling them.
“I’ll never stop thinking about Terry until the day I die,” she said.
– With files from Neetu Garcha