Steve Fonyo, cross-Canada runner and cancer research hero dies at 56
Following the traumatic events of the 1956 Revolution in Hungary, many people became political fugitives and had to flee the county. Some went to Australia, others to the United States and some to Canada.
In 1984, Steven Charles Fonyo Jr. ran across Canada with a prosthetic leg to draw attention to the hardships of cancer patients and gather donations to cancer research earning the Order of Canada merit.
Steve Fonyo was born in 1965 in Montreal as the son of a Hungarian couple who fled to Canada where they managed a restaurant, Hungarian Free Press writes.
Unfortunately, Steve Fonyo lost his left leg to bone cancer. However, this did not deter him from doing great things.
Stave was only 18 when he embarked on a successful cross-Canada run following the footsteps of Terry Fox, Global Newsreports.
He named his endeavour “Journey for Lives” and it aimed to raise funds and awareness to the hardships and perils of cancer as well as related scientific research.
Steve Fonyo received a huge amount of media attention during his run when he passed the point where Terry Fox was forced to stop. In the end, Fonyo completed his run within 425 days covering 7,924 kilometres with a prosthetic leg and raising over $ 13 million for cancer research.
He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1985 for his endurance and heroism. Vancouver Sun wrote that he was chosen as newsmaker of the year by the annual Canadian Press survey of editors.
Steve Fonyo completes his cross-Canada marathon at Victoria, B.C., after 14 months on the road. (1985) Source: Facebook.com/stevefonyomovie/
Fall of grace
Unfortunately, from then on, it was downhill for Steve Fonyo; he started to be involved in small-scale legal troubles. But they added up.
Hungarian Free Press writes that at first, Steve got speeding tickets, then he was charged with drunk driving. In the coming years, he had been charged with armed assault, aggravated assault, writing fake cheques and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Steve ended up serving a few days in jail for his crimes and his Order of Canada was revoked in 2009 without notice. He said he heard about it in prison.
Global News reports that in 2015 he was the subject of a documentary titled Hurt about his fall of grace and struggles to get his life together.
“I need to better myself. And I’m doing that,” he told the Canadian Press after the film’s debut at the Toronto International Film Festival.