Gen X at 40

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Hans -

I hope this doesn't sound cold, but there is something about when a hero dies young he/she can really maintain that heroic stature. After his heroic achievement, poor Steve had to continue facing his disease, disability and life in general. Poor Terry died, but his heroic image retained a heroic purity. The Terry Fox - Steve Fonyo comparison is doubly cursed because Terry was the original and Steve the "copycat".

Its similar to when a friend of mine remarked that maybe Billy Idol should have died in that motorcycle crash. Not because he was wishing death on on some one but in terms of image, it was sad to see the brash punker become a drug-addled caricature.

David -

Back in the late 90s, Frank when through a phase of making phoney stamps and seeing if Canada Post would mail the letters. Yes, they would, even the "Republic du Quebec; 40 franc" stamps. One of my favorite gags was the "cross Canada one legged race" where they sent letters with Steve Fonyo and Terry Fox stamps from Halifax to Vancouver to see which would arrive first. Canada Post made some "we're going to the RCMP noises" after the issue came out but nothing came of it. I seem to remember that Fonyo won the race.

Alan -

Googling "steve fonyo" is an amazing experience of the failing of that tool as any kind of historical archive.

Scott -

I think we all seen what Terry Fox did as totally selfless and for the cause of cancer research. If memory serves me correctly, Fonyo did the run for self gain. Big difference in the eyes of the public.
I think even if Fonyo had not thought that he should have been compensated for his efforts, he did his run just a little too soon after Terry and as Hans said he was perceived as a "copy cat". Fonyo also did not have the personality that Fox had and no matter how well his intentions were, when the race was over, so was his celebrity.

Alan -

It would be nice if we were able to actually use the internet to obtain primary documents on this sort of thing as the gain allegation waves a flag but also rings untrue as he certainly would have known he was not to be paid before he hit the Praries. I also recall Terry Fox asking not to be made an icon but that is a recollection from my years as teen jerk.

Alan -

Not entirely unsympathetic:<blockquote class="smalltext">"I did what I did when I was 18 years old, it was something I really believed in. But sometimes I wonder to myself if it was the right thing to do. I've been living in the same place (Vancouver) for two years and I don't know my neighbours and I don't know what they I do. But they know who I am and what I did." --Steve Fonyo, on his seclusion and inner turmoil, circa 1997.</blockquote>See more here. I would like something to back up that compensation allegation before I would believe it.

Alan -

One other point - Rick Hansen was something of a copier but that is not held against him.

Carol -

For whatever reason Steve Fanyo used, he did in fact walk across Canada,perhaps his focus wasn't pure but the fact is he did what he set out to do.
We tend to forget his accomplishment because of poor judgement and perhaps because of poor management. We need to honor the fact he did cross Canada

Tony Orlando -

I too remember those scenes of Steve running in the snow storms. There is no doubt about it both Steve and Terry should be given equal recognition. Unfortunely, that's not how mankind thinks. If Terry would have finished and he would still be alive today, not much would be made of him or the Terry Fox yearly run. I was disappointed in the CBC special on Terry Fox becuase not one word was mentioned of Steve Fonyo, so much for the CBC. I truly admire Terry for taking the initiative to support cancer research, but I also admire Steve for carrying on Terry's legacy. Steve is the man who followed in the footsteps of a giant and finished what Terry started, and I think that Terry would be proud of that accomplishment. That's my two cents.

Dan Dorval -

It was interesting to read the vartious comments and information posted here. I had been thinking about Steve Fonyo quite a bit in the lead up to the 25th anniversary of Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope. I was surprised to hear about Fonyo's troubles, but when you think about multi-millionaire athletes becoming depressed after the lime-light fades away, one has to wonder how coming down from the media attention affects a very young man who, after all lost his leg to cancer. Those who knock Fonyo for being a copycat might want to reconsider. In my opinion he added to the Legend of Terry Fox. Who can blame an 18 year old kid for being inspired by Fox's heroics. It is very sad to hear about his addictions, and troubles with the law. But don't forget - he ran across Canada with a prosthetic leg, and raised 13 million dollars for Cancer research - what have you done lately that allows you to put down this Canadian hero.

Ian -

Terry Fox, Steve Fonyo & rick Hansen , their all heros in my eyes.

Alasdair Veitch -

I think of Steve Fonyo often - I think he deservers SOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH praise for what he did, which was to actually do what Terry set out to do.

I just ran my 18th Terry Fox Run since my first in 1983 - I missed a few when I was in the field and couldn't do it. But you know what???? I'd LOVE to do a Steve Fonyo Run. He is also a Canadian hero - I was sooooo happy when I was at U of Alberta and found that the running track was named for him. And I helped fight to keep it named for him when some wanted to change it in light of his, ummmm, 'troubles'.

Steve Fonyo is and will always be a GREAT CANADIAN and I did send in his name when they were looking for the list of Greatest Canadians. Steve, if you're out there buddy - there are lots of us that remember you and appreciate what you did. Just as we do with Terry.

I nominate Steve Fonyo as one of the Greatest Canadians of all time - I'd personally put him in the top 5 with Terry Fox, Tommy Douglas, Lester Pearson, and Pierre Trudeau.

Steve - we still love and admire you buddy.

Alasdair Veitch
Norman Wells, Northwest Territories

Robert -

Steve --- you showed amazing strength of body, mind, and spirit -- no one can take that away from you. Be proud for following in the footsteps of your hero and for breaking a trail for others to follow as well. Life is complicated and Steve's life just reflects the contradictions and paradoxes that reveal us all to be equally human. I like my mythic heros too, but Steve is flesh and blood and he's a great hero as well.

Anne -

I Googled Steve Fonyo to see how he was doing -- I remember hearing that things had gone off the rails for him somewhat after he finished his journey across Canada. I found some information on him from the last few years and things sounded much better for him now, and that made me very glad.

He did an amazing thing. It is an astonishing feat of endurance. He raised a lot of money for cancer research, and I don't blame him one iota if he had moments of wishing that he could have profited personally from it too. A small fraction of $13 million would go a long way in one person's life.

I liked the idea of Steve Fonyo appearing at a Terry Fox Run this year especially; I can well imagine that he wouldn't want to; I only hope that the Terry Fox people would have made him welcome and applauded his efforts to carry on with what Terry Fox started.

Steve -- I have never forgotten what you did -- I was small at the time -- I hope that you're happy and satisfied with your achievement then and your life now. You did a great thing.

Wendy -

Somehow, we have all reached this site....perhaps through a search engine. My ties to Steve are direct. There are stories that Steve and I have shared and been a part of through most of the run and years after. Only what you hear from the media is what you...the public,know. What you see on TV and read (edited) is, unfortunately, the only version you're able to receive. Though Steve knew this venture would get exposure...he would have never guessed that during almost every waking moment (literally)a camera would mark his every move and keep him under close scrutiny. Many people are unaware if they are able to deal with such an intense change in life style until they are exposed to it. Of course DWI and drugs are unacceptable, but they are sometimes a result. Though difficult to do...the issues need to be dealt with separately. It's obvious that his desire to succeed still drove him to the finish which was his goal. His value saved many lives, brought many smiles to cancer victims, survivors and remaining family members. He gave a dying child his last wish, and (last but not least)dedicated his own personal life...so people like you and I were/are able to have a better chance at survival in the event of being diagnosed with cancer. Keep in mind, that during the process of this Journey, Steve lost many things about himself that we all try to value. Any life that Steve deemed manageable prior to the run became unmanageable or non-existent and what he controlled was no longer possible. Perhaps it's easy for many of us to imagine a certain lifestyle that's above/beyond/below our means, but until we have experienced it, it's difficult to know if we can manage the changes. The focus here should be on the fact that the money raised has done more for YOU and I than we know. If, and I hope there never is, a day that you are given the news or someone you love is diagnosed...please know that Steve gave what he could to try and make that process a little easier and shorter for all of us (you). Now, after all these years I have not talked to Steve, but I only hope he has found a way to deal with his personal and emotional sacrifices he made for all of us (alone).

Alan -

Well said and thank you.

les keyes -

hi steve if you read this site. hi wendy.. capt keyes is here.. i was the roadshow d.j. with steves journey for lives in G.B. he was brilliant here as well for british cancer research.. even though his struggles started over here and i could see them coming. he still got up strapped on his leg and ran through nearly every city in england.. he was so weary or depressed the longer we went some days i used to have to go to his room and gee him up myself. and he never let me down.. we had many memories together..finishing at canada house trafalgar square, london for a special party to celebrate his achievement with the high commisionaire... i got to know steve really well and somehow knew dark days were on the horizon.. and wasn"t surprised to hear his demise.. what i"m happy to hear is he is there and hopefully laughing as loud as he did with me on them long days he was running i was in the winnie bego been down with my own probs and had good mates pull me up and put me right... to all the peopple who did that to steve.. think about what he did..and be there always wish i could drink a bottle of canadian club with him again .... to you fonyo....well done many regards keysey xxxxxxxx

Adam -

i was in treatment with steve a few years ago he can be a pompass ass and aregant untill you get to know him then he is a really good guy

Fred Tippett -

Our heroes are not expendable.The CBC is always playing propagnda games with the public. I agree with my fellow Canadians, that Steve Fonyo accomplished an amazing feat. Something that we as Canadians should show a heart-felt sense of gratitude to him; and not try to forget he even existed. God bless you, Steve and "Thank you!!"

RON.T. -

steve did agreat job

RON.T. -

steve did agreat job

Blair -

Someone once said we should accentuate the positive. Well, Steve Fonyo accomplished an incredible feat. Twice. Once in Canada and again in England. How about some of you
who dwell on the negative side of Steve's life try running across one of our provinces,let alone all of them ! Although Steve's trials and tribulations continue, here is one man who witnessed his completion of the cross Canada run and to this day still considers him a Canadian hero.

Brent Bagshaw -


STEVE FONYO IS A HERO.

Jason James -

I am a film/tv producer and am trying to get a hold of Steve Fonyo... Any leads? Email me: jason@resonancefilms.ca

Frances -

I remember when Steve ran his race... and I remember when the red cross pulled out because he refused to give up his run in the winter across the praries... I remember when Terry ran and the media at times were hard on him for his eating habits and for not being "on time " for events... The difference is, Terry died and all the negitive was forgotten and the media and canadian's made him into a hero.

Steve IS a hero too, way to many people forget that what he did raised money for cancer research which has changed life and death from cancer as we knew it then.

What ever choices steve made after his runs should not affect how he is remembered! His feat was incredible... his being cast aside by many canadians, and the media is heartbreaking.

I hope Steve can beat his demons.... whatever they are, and be granted the peace of knowing that he impacted millions of lives with his runs... the man deserves our respect! Let him live, I'm sure he judges himself harshly enough without media spot light on it...

Thank you Steve for running, and accomplishing your goal... at 18 I wasn't thinking of doing anything that life changing for myself or anyone else.

Frances

Frances -

I remember when Steve ran his race... and I remember when the red cross pulled out because he refused to give up his run in the winter across the praries... I remember when Terry ran and the media at times were hard on him for his eating habits and for not being "on time " for events... The difference is, Terry died and all the negitive was forgotten and the media and canadian's made him into a hero.

Steve IS a hero too, way to many people forget that what he did raised money for cancer research which has changed life and death from cancer as we knew it then.

What ever choices steve made after his runs should not affect how he is remembered! His feat was incredible... his being cast aside by many canadians, and the media is heartbreaking.

I hope Steve can beat his demons.... whatever they are, and be granted the peace of knowing that he impacted millions of lives with his runs... the man deserves our respect! Let him live, I'm sure he judges himself harshly enough without media spot light on it...

Thank you Steve for running, and accomplishing your goal... at 18 I wasn't thinking of doing anything that life changing for myself or anyone else.

Frances

greg -

the guys a has been

Lisa -

To whom this may concern:
Just to let everyone know that the last time that Steve went to jail on a assult. it was on me his live in girlfriend. And the breaches that he has broken time after time again is because one of the condition was a no contact on me that he disrespected time after time. And again as of August 30,2009 there is a warrant out for his arrest again for yet another breach. He had showed up last nite while I had company and let himself in sat down on the couch and opened what was what you could tell not his first one but he opened another cooler and proceeded to cause trouble, that's when he was asked to leave acouple of times and then he was asked to leave and not come back and my guests witnessed all this. So when he did leave he was calling me names and yelling at me but then he left. The next morning I woke up to the sound of a truck in my driveway. The tow truck driver had informed me that Steve Fonyo had told him to pick them up (two cars that were in my driveway) One his, One mine and the driver didn't even check to see if both were his before he took them away. So I called the police because the tow truck drive had also informed me that he was deliverying them to Steve's place of employement. And at the sametime I was making the phone call to them I decided to let them know about Steve beaching again and being here last nite, Knowing the way steve is that no one eles knows I didn't know if I was in danger again. So the police took my statement and my companies statements and went to arrest him at his place of employment. To which he avoided and Const. Karen called to let me know that Steve had told her he was turning himself in the next day (Sept1). So please if anyone wants proof that my story is 100 percent the truth I can provide my witness and pictures of the assult.
My name is Lisa and my e-mail: stickersinc07@hotmail.com or for faster response please call me anytime 604-584-1995

Mikhala -

I agree with the comment about personal gain and personality.
while what he did was difficult, I am not sure what his motivations were. Also, and this is important: he DID NOT have the same personality. Think about celebrities you like and dislike...same thing. Steve Fonyo could be a real ass, and that is never going to lead to a lot of public support. It also made people question those motives.

Honestly? if he wanted to do something, he should've organized something in Terry's name, not copied him.

M.

Rob Kennedy -

Who cares about motives? Good God, if you are starving and someone feeds you do you really CARE if it is to make themselves feel better. He raised MILLIONS...who the hell cares what his "motives" were? I personally believe Steve did it to show an amputee could "finish" the dream. And if he got a lot of fame and maybe got laid a few times because of it then good for him. We are so great at tearing down our heros when their skeletons come out (see Tiger Woods). I suppose it makes us feel better about being less than they are. I look at it the same way I would if it were any 2 people trying to accomplish the same thing. One failed and one succeeded. Terry failed and Steve made it. Ok, so Terry didn't "quit", he died. In the end we still idolize the man who failed but ignore the man who did what he set out to do. And just because he didn't live up to our so-called 'image" of what we want in a hero. If Steve was a model citizen and more pleasant suddenly he becomes a hero as well. That is bullshit. After all the arguments and media and our self-ritious attitudes the bottom line is this: Terry Failed....Steve didn't!

Rick Kwitkoski -

I don't believe that Steve copied Terry in any way. In wars, do we commemorate the fallen who tried to take an objective and then vilify their comrades who actually make it? I don't think so. Look at Sgt. "Smoky" Smith. War hero. Promoted to corporal nine times and demoted as many until finally winding up as Sergeant. Was he squeaky clean? I think not.
Terry unfortunately didn't finish what he could have finished through no fault of his own. Steve finished what he set out to do through his own determination. Good for both of them. Steve unfortunately has a darker side to his personality. Did Terry? We will never know. He was not quite 23 when he died. Steve went back to private life after his cross_Canada run and I congratulate him on that achievement. The fact that he has subsequently had some criminal convictions should not detract from his earlier achievement. Let us give him that credit.

Alan -

News today:

"Steve Fonyo, the amputee who became a national hero when he raised $13 million during a cross-country marathon in 1984, has been stripped of his Order of Canada.

maurice j tougas -


If morgentaler can keep his order of merit why not steve fonyo .
You wonder who makes these lame brain decisions

Linda -

If this organization sees fit to remove Steve's Order of Canada because he hasn't led a charmed life, perhaps they should negate the $13,000,000 he raised, which would be a lot more now, by giving him that amount. People like Conrad Black are crooks, they are "haves" that take. The Steve Fonyos of the world are average every day people, survivors, who accomplish absolutely amazing things and then are left with little in the way of a support system. Whereas I do not have a problem with Conrad Black's being taken away, I have a huge problem with the removal of Steve Fonyo's Order.

Emily Mandy -

Steve Fonyo accomplished something truly stupendous. Depression is cruel but more cruel was the casual judgement cast on Steve right from the beginning.. Steve himself may or may not acknowledge responsibility for the current train wreck of his life---but stripping him of a medal only highlights the real grandeur of what he once did.

Jozef Demcak -

All the time Steve was running, I was disgusted at cruelty of media, how they diminished his achievement. After he finished, I was disgusted how fast Steve was forgotten. It was Terry all over. I can imagine how Steve felt when he turned to bottle and whatever. What about Cancer Society? Did they offer any help or at least sympathy when Steve was down? No! They just took the money. Thanks and good luck.
It is like in art. You need to be dead before your paintings get to be valuable.
And media? I placed similar consideration on The Province blog, they did not even publish it because I sided with Steve and not with Terry.
I wish Steve the best and I want him to know that he is not alone who discovered than there is no justice in Canada. For more facts about injustice I invite Steve and everybody to visit www.justiceisdead.info
Jozef

john simpson -

I would very much like to send Steve a strong message of support. Does anyone have an e-mail or mailing address?
Thanks.

David Janes -

Correctional Service of Canada

National Headquarters
340 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0P9

Phone: (613) 992-5891
Fax: (613) 943-1630

sid in montreal -

I think that what Steve Fonyo did....running across the country on one leg.....was a commendable accomplishment, regardless of who did the same thing before or after him....the fact that he has had troubles afterwards doesn't take away from this achievement....sometimes really messed up people can do a great thing....they are not either totally bad nor totally good....sometimes they work things out and are not so messed up afterwards...

ashely -

just to let everyone no about steve fonyo my best friend lisa. she was dating steve at the time and all i could say in brief would be that steve hade dissapontied me when i hade first met steve i was so interested in to no what he was all about ! Well after asking him to tell me a lil and show me some pictures he hade the nerve to say *I DONT LIKE TO TALK ABOUT IT ,, ITS NOT IMPORTANT* one other thing he hade said was really ashely ""who cares it was just a stupied run "

any questions e-mail me at tinyy2010@hotmail.com

John Wannop -

The evil that man does lives after him, the good is often intered in their bones. This could apply to Steve. He coppied Terry that is true but he ran and with conviction. He raised a lot of money for Cancer research and the awareness of what the devistating disease can do. This in itself is enough to call him a hero.

emily -

steve fonyo is mean

emily -

steve fonyo is mean