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Steve Fonyo, Cancer Survivor and Cancer Fundraising Icon, dead at 56


DonLever

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https://bc.ctvnews.ca/b-c-cancer-survivor-and-fundraising-icon-steve-fonyo-dead-at-56-1.5789422

 

BURNABY, B.C. -- Steve Fonyo, who survived boyhood cancer and became famous for fundraising efforts in the 1980s before falling from grace, has died.

The 56-year-old was in Burnaby for an appointment related to his prosthetic leg when he died in his hotel room in the early hours of Friday morning, according to his partner Lisa Marie Herbert.

Herbert told CTV News she came back to the room to find Fonyo unresponsive.

 

Fonyo rose to fame in the 1980s after running across Canada to raise money for cancer research, following the example set by Terry Fox.

Like Fox, Fonyo was born in B.C. and lost his leg to the disease. Unlike Fox, whose cancer returned before he could finish his cross-country run, Fonyo completed the trip, raising more than $13 million in the "Journey for Lives."

“I just want people to know that what he did, it was important and he changed the world in the ’80s and he did something extraordinary and he did it because he loved people. And they loved him too,” said Herbert.

At the age of 18, he was awarded the Order of Canada for his achievement.

But as time went on, Fonyo found his accomplishments overshadowed by trouble with the law. He was convicted of and served jail time for several offences, including fraud, theft and assault with a weapon.

He was formally stripped of the Order of Canada in 2010. In 2015, Fonyo was stabbed and beaten during a home invasion. He spent multiple weeks in an induced coma, but had recovered and in recent years had largely got his life back on track.

Herbert said Fonyo was the first to admit he’d had problems.

“He had some problems, but we all do. Who doesn’t, right? It’s hard to be perfect when you’re under the scrutiny of a magnifying glass,” she said.

But she said what he did to help others will not be forgotten.

 

“He had people stop him all the time and tell him how the money he had raised in the ’80s had helped their family members, or them,” Herbert said.

“His personality was big and he made me laugh every day,” she added. “I don’t know what I’m going to do without him.”

Fonyo’s sister, Suzanne Main, says she is devastated by her brother’s death.

“He was my hero. I’m very proud of him for what he did,” she said. “He was such a kind person.”

A service is being planned in Vernon to remember Fonyo.  

 

Edited by DonLever
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4 hours ago, Ilunga said:

We make conscious choices about what we want to remember about people, do we remember the good they did/were, or do we remember the bad. 

 

None of us are perfect, I choose to remember the good in people like Steve, he sounds like he had a good heart and they are the sort of people I want in my life.

 

Condolences to his family and loved ones.

Yeah, his heart was in the right place (my opinion) at the beginning.  He just went of the 'right path' (for whatever reason, we are all human).  RIP.

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Having grown up in a town where many fell into the clutches of drugs and alcohol, I don't judge people who go down the road. I know how easy it is to fall into that trap and how it grabs ahold of some really good people.

 

I, too, tend to focus on the good person inside who did a lot of good things. The rest is just unfortunate.

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25 minutes ago, -DLC- said:

Having grown up in a town where many fell into the clutches of drugs and alcohol, I don't judge people who go down the road. I know how easy it is to fall into that trap and how it grabs ahold of some really good people.

 

I, too, tend to focus on the good person inside who did a lot of good things. The rest is just unfortunate.

its just sad. Cleary he had a lot of good in him, the rest of him taken by addiction. 

Edited by JM_
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9 minutes ago, gurn said:

B.S.

No wise person or company deliberately lets people die- it reduces the opportunity to sell them other stuff.

more money is derived from the fund raising than any other. Greed is a powerful tool. 

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