Steve Fonyo: Dies at the Age 56

Steve Fonyo – A Hero Found Dead in Burnaby Hotel Room at the age of 56

Steve Fonyo, the B.C. chemotherapy survivor who traveled across Canada with an artificial leg as a teenager, is dead at 56. Friends and family confirmed.

The man that became a national celebrity for his run across Canada using artificial legs have passed away.

Steve Fonyo was 56 when the death occurred in the Burnaby hotel room following apparent seizures. The coroner will determine the reason for the end.

Fonyo beat childhood bone cancer and ran close to 8000 kilometers in his cross-country charity event in 14 months.

When he made it across the east to the west coast from Canada, In 1985, Fonyo made a trip which Terry Fox was unable to because of his cancer.

After making national headlines after raising over $14 million and being awarded the Order of Canada, Fonyo seemed to be at the top on the planet.

However, his life took a downward slope with drugs and a long number of convictions for criminal offenses. The year was 2015 when he suffered a fatal assault at a residence in Surrey. The doctors put him in a medically-induced coma, and he could survive.

Steve Fonyo

Alan Zweig’s documentary of 2015, Hurt, focused on the decline of Fonyo.

The film also features the appearance of Vancouver doctor Gabor Mate who has studied the connection between addiction and trauma in his writings.

Steve Fonyo, who lost his leg due to cancer in his youth and then ran the race throughout Canada to raise millions of dollars for cancer research, was discovered deceased in Burnaby.

He was 56.

His niece Melody Kruppa told the Canadian Press that he suffered from what seemed like a seizure in the Hotel room in Burnaby on Friday. However, medical personnel was unable to revive the patient.

The cause of death is not yet determined. Kruppa said that the family is expected to wait until Wednesday or Tuesday for the coroner’s office to evaluate the body because of the long holiday weekend.

“We’re in shock,” she added.

“We’re all just waiting. We’re just doing the best that we can. It’s just very hard to wait for the coroner to look at him and find out what the cause was and whether we’re going to be able to view his body. We just don’t know anything right now.”

She stated that Fonyo and his companion went to the Vancouver region following their move from Powell River to get the artificial leg repaired.

Fonyo lost his leg to cancer at the age of 12 years old. He became a national hero in the year 1985 when he completed an all-Canadian marathon to raise funds for cancer research, just five years later than Terry Fox attempted the same similar event.


However, his membership was revoked in 2009 after a string of criminal convictions.

The move sparked public anger as critics said that he should have been remembered for his heroism, despite the struggles he faced later in his life.

The year was 2015. Fonyo stated to The Canadian Press that he was trying to put his life back in order after years of substance abuse, criminality and homelessness.

“I don’t think they should have taken away my Order of Canada,” Fonyo declared. I believe they should be more accommodating; however, it’s a two-way road. I didn’t do anything for myself.”

The couple’s friend Lisa Herbert told Global News that they were in the Vancouver area to get his prosthetic foot fixed when he passed away shortly after midnight on Friday morning.

Steve Fonyo, who lost his leg due to cancer in his youth and then ran a marathon across Canada to raise money for cancer research, passed away.

He was 56.

The niece of Fonyo Melody Kruppa says Fonyo had what was believed to be a seizure in a hotel are located in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday. Paramedics could not revive the patient.

Fonyo lost his leg to cancer at the age of 12 years old. After completing the Canada-wide race to raise research for cancer research five years following, Terry Fox attempted the identical thing.

Fonyo was made to the rank of officer in the Order of Canada in 1985 at 19 years old -the youngest person ever to be awarded the honour at the time.

“He was my hero and also what I respected about him is he had a lot of difficulties but he kept going, he persevered,” Kruppa stated.

It terminated his membership in 2009 after a string of criminal convictions.

He was battling an addiction to cocaine and depression.

Steve Fonyo

The decision caused public outrage as critics said that he ought to have been remembered for his heroism regardless of the difficulties he had later in life.

Later in his life, he worked as a mechanic and was a star in a documentary called “Hope”, which told the tale of his race and the efforts he made to change his life after a turbulent history.

She told her she returned to the hotel they were staying in Burnaby to discover Fonyo experiencing what was believed to be seizures. The medical personnel attempted to revive the patient for more than one hour, but she eventually passed away within her arms.

“He had the most heart and loved people. That’s the reason that he was able to do what he did,” Herbert said Sunday.

“His personality was huge that it filled every room. Everyone who met him, mostly loved him. A few people didn’t love his personality, but that you cannot please everyone. He admitted to having certain issues however, he was an individual who simply loved people.”

The family won’t know the reason for his death until, at the very least, Tuesday when the coroner becomes on the case, she said.

According to Global News, Lisa Greenwood-Fonyo, Fonyo’s ex-wife, was on medication for seizures following a devastating attack in 2015 that put the man in an induced coma for a few weeks and suffered the consequences of a brain trauma injury.

“I think he finally had a seizure,” she told her.

Fonyo was diagnosed with cancer of his left leg at 12. Between 1984 and 1985, both at 18 years old, Fonyo completed an impressive cross-Canada marathon and followed in the footsteps of Terry Fox.

“Journey For Lives,” or the “Journey for Lives” initiative, has raised over $13 million to fund cancer research. Fonyo was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1985.

In the years following, the man struggled with depression and alcoholism and was later convicted for a series of crimes ranging from driving impaired to assault. Finally, in 2009, his removed from the Order of Canada.

He focused on a documentary called Hurt that chronicled his efforts to get his life back in order.

“I have to improve myself. That’s what I’m doing,” he told the Canadian Press after the film’s debut at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“I believe they shouldn’t have removed the Order of Canada. I believe they should be more accommodating however, it’s a two-way road. I wasn’t doing much to myself.”

Greenwood-Fonyo acknowledged that it is not a secret that her former lover was troubled in the past and that his outlook about life changed when his rehabilitation.

He lived within Powell River in recent years. She said that he was content.

“He was loving it up there and he was having a good time,” she told her.

“A majority of people aren’t a fan of the guy. Most people thought that he was a joke. Once you got beyond that, the man was actually a pretty decent person. He was extremely smart.”

The family is gathered in Vancouver, and they are making plans to transport Fonyo to Vernon to be laid to rest with his father.


Stephen Charles Fonyo Jr. (June 29, 1965 – – February 18 2022) was a Canadian runner with an artificial leg. He was a well-known national fundraising event to support cancer treatment and research and was also a former Member of the Order of Canada.


Fonyo suffered a leg loss due to osteoporosis at the age of 12. Then, he began the cross-Canada marathon named”The “Journey for Lives” to raise money for research into cancer. He was following the example of Terry Fox. However, contrary to Fox, who was forced to quit his participation in the Marathon of Hope in the event of his cancer returning, Fonyo completed the coast-to-coast marathon and ran the marathon in all of the United Kingdom.

Fonyo started the “Journey for Lives” marathon on March 31, 1984, aged 18, and completed the race 425 days later on May 29 1985. The race covered 7,924 kilometers (4,924 miles) in total and raised over $14 million (CDN). He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1985 as the youngest person to be granted this honor in the year. However, the achievement was accompanied by sorrow, as the father of his son Steve Fonyo Sr. died from lung cancer in the same year.

He took courses in mechanics and maintenance on aircraft at a young age. As a result, he has repeatedly violated the law and was convicted and charged with numerous crimes.

In February of 2015, friends and relatives reported to the journalists that Fonyo suffered from an insanity coma at Royal Columbian Hospital after being attacked by three home intruders at his home located in Whalley, the neighborhood in the neighborhood Surrey. The hospital’s doctors put Fonyo in a medically-induced condition for a month following his assault. Fonyo ended up having a severe brain injury, leading to his being prescribed medication to avoid seizures.

Legal issues


In 1996, Fonyo admitted guilt to sixteen charges of committing offenses in Edmonton, which included assault with weapons or weapon, aggravated assault, fraud when he wrote bad checks totaling $30,000 to stores, and possession of an unregistered vehicle. Fonyo was also found guilty of at least five occasions of driving under the influence and seven times for driving without a license, lastly in the autumn of 2008. On August 13, 2009, Fonyo, who was believed to be working as a heavy-machinery mechanic, was arraigned before Surrey Provincial Court charged with one charge of assault. He confessed and was sentenced to a day in prison. He was awarded the ten days he had already completed. The judge also imposed a one-year probationary order. However, just five days later, the man of 44 was back in court for the second time after breaching his terms. He was found guilty and sent to jail for 14 days.

It suspended membership in the Order of Canada on December 10, 2009. In January of this year, Fonyo offered a short telephone interview CTV News from the Surrey Remand Centre in Surrey. He was serving the remainder of his sentence for an assault charge following a violation of his parole. Fonyo declared that it was not suitable to be denied an Order of Canada revoked since it was issued to him in connection with an act he’d previously committed.

On August 6 August 6, 2010, he was caught for fraud. On August 28, 2010, Fonyo married Lisa Greenwood.

On December 7, 2010, Fonyo confessed to threats against Greenwood and non-related charges of fraud, fraudulent use of credit cards, and driving while a license was suspended.

Legacy and death

In the Vancouver area, for repairs to be made to his prosthetic foot Fonyo passed away in the Burnaby hotel just before midnight on February 18, 2022, aged 56. His partner believed that he experienced a seizure that his ex-wife believed was related to the brain injury he suffered. The reason for his death is waiting to be determined by the coroner.

Steve Fonyo Drive in Kingston, Ontario, is named for him. The same is true of Steve Fonyo Beach in Victoria, British Columbia, where he concluded his race. Fonyo Road was also named in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

In 2015 Fonyo was the topic in Alan Zweig’s documentary film Hurt, which focused on Fonyo’s journey to the world of addiction and homelessness. It was awarded the Platform Prize at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and was named the best feature documentary of the Canadian Screen Award. The film was a huge success.