'TV on the Radio' Bassist, Gerard Smith died of Lung Cancer

The bassist for the arty funk/rock band, TV on the Radio, died tragically at the age of 34 as a result of complications with lung cancer. At the time the band cancelled their shows in Chicago, Denver, Detroit and Minneapolis, having previously made an announcement about Smith on their official website in March 2011: Gerard [Smith] is fortunate enough to have health insurance and is receiving excellent medical care,” the announcement read. “Already we have seen dramatic results. Combine that with Gerard’s legendarily wilful disposition and it might just be cancer that has the problem. We appreciate your concern and support for Gerard and his family.” But shortly after that the following passage appeared on the band’s website: We are very sad to announce the death of our beloved friend and bandmate, Gerard Smith, following a courageous fight against lung cancer. Gerard passed away the morning of April 20, 2011. We will miss him terribly.” Smith joined the band in 2005, contributing to albums Return to CookieMountain, and Dear Sciencein 2008, which Rolling Stone magazine named Album of the Year. Lung cancer is a vitriolic disease most often associated with smoking, however, it can also be caused by other cancers spreading throughout the body. According to cancerhelp.org.uk, “The second most important risk factor for lung cancer is exposure to radon gas. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can seep out of the soil. Other, less important risk factors include air pollution, exposure to certain chemicals, previous lung disease, family history of lung cancer, past cancer treatment and having poor immunity. In some people who get lung cancer there is no obvious risk factor.” Sadly, just not smoking isn’t enough to prevent this disease. Someone dying in their mid-thirties, with the clichéd ‘so much to live for’ is an obvious tragedy but it’s also a reminder that we should all live as healthily as we possibly can and squeeze as much joy out of every moment of every day as possible. Say no to television, spectator sports, and activities that destroy our health or provide only fake pleasure in faux worlds such as taking drugs, drinking, gambling or gaming – that’s not living. Let’s stop obsessing over our looks and start obsessing over our souls, and like the saying goes, ‘live everyday as if it was your last and explore every moment like it’s your first.’ Turn your computer off now, kiss your husband, tickle your grandma, walk in the woods, play with your dog, pick a peach from a tree and eat it, dangle your toes in a river. Revel in the moment and realise you’re alive.   If I had my life over… If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones. You see, I’m one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have. If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies. ~ Nadine Stair

Prostat Cancer Contributed to Charlton Heston's Death

Charlton Heston with prostate cancer

Charlton Heston is one of the most famous men in cinema. The actor, who got his big break in the early 1950s with hits like ‘Marc Antony’ and ‘The Ten Commandments’, helped shape the landscape of modern cinema. Some of his most successful movies include ‘Ben-Hur’, ‘Julius Caesar’, ‘Planet of the Apes’ and ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ and he is considered one of the most important actors in Hollywood’s history.

His career, however, stretched far beyond Tinsel Town and the world of glitz and glamor. His full-time days of acting over, Heston became interested in politics and was a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association [NRA]. He eventually became more conservative was sworn in as the President of the NRA in 1998 until he retired in 2003 after being diagnosed with symptoms related to Alzheimer’s Disease.

Charlton Heston and the NRA

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative neurological disorder and the most common form of dementia. It is far more serious than just losing memory – it is a progressively deteriorating and fatal brain disease. Alzheimer’s destroys brain cells and is utterly degenerative leading to a total breakdown of memory, motor skills and brain functions. Where once sufferers could perform simple daily tasks with ease they become unable to do so.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Heston’s condition worsened and a few weeks before his death in April 2008, it was reported that he had reached the final stages of Alzheimer’s.

Charlton Heston

The actor and gun lover also battled with prostate cancer in 1998, and after receiving radiation therapy, was declared cancer free in 2000. It was then, after his ordeal with the illness that he realized he had an alcohol problem and sought treatment at a Utah rehab clinic for alcoholism.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Prostate Cancer Episode

Andrew Lloyd Webber overcame prostate cancer but was left impotent by the surgical procedures

Andrew Lloyd Webber, famous composer and the brains behind no less than 13 successful musicals including Cats, Phantom of the Opera and Starlight Express, is celebrated worldwide and his stageshows are revered across the globe.

The British-born composer and producer, who penned his first piece at the age of nine, has received countless awards, including an Oscar, seven Tony Awards and three Grammy Awards for works such as ‘Jesus Christ: Superstar’.

But in 2010 Llloyd Webber’s spokespeople released a written statement confirming the producer was suffering from prostate cancer which read as follows: “The condition is in its very early stages. Andrew is now undergoing treatment and expects to be fully back at work before the end of the year.”

At the time, Lloyd Webber was releasing the long-awaited sequel to ‘Phantom of the Opera’, entitled ‘Phantom: Love Never Dies’ 2010. He began writing the story in 1990 but it wasn’t until 2007 that he started working on the music for the show.

Andrew Lloyd Webber during the 1970s

The composer, born 22nd March, 1948, had a short stay in hospital, receiving initial treatment for prostate cancer but complications arose over time. Webber was keen to explore alternative therapies to treat the cancer but succumbed to doctor’s wishes after they advised that a prostatectomy would almost guarantee a 100% success.

The surgery was successful and Webber made a full recovery but has since resigned himself to a life without sex due to impotence caused by the operation.

Andrew Lloyd Webber in better health after his cancer scare

The prostate is a gland located in the male reproductive system, in between the bladder and the rectum. Prostate literally stands for “the guardian” and its primary function is to help make and store seminal fluid in addition to producing an alkaline secretion that is ejaculated with semen.

Prostate cancer is when the cells of the prostate begin to grow uncontrollably, and typically affects men over the age of 50.

Dennis Hopper dies of Prostate Cancer

Dennis Hopper; artist, photographer and noted actor

Veteran actor and artist Dennis Hopper was been diagnosed with prostate cancer and his manager, Sam Maydew, confirmed the 73-year-old was cancelling all appearances to undergo what he called a “special program” at the University of Southern California.

We’re hoping for the best,” Maydew said, without going into further details about the actor’s condition.

The prostate is a gland located in the male reproductive system, in between the bladder and the rectum. Prostate cancer occurs when the cells of the prostate begin to grow uncontrollably. Like many other cancers, the early stages of prostate cancer are virtually undetectable.

Dennis Hopper in cult flick 'Easy Rider'

The star of ‘Easy Rider’, ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘Rumble Fish’, was a well-established name in Hollywood and the respected actor appeared in over 200 movie or television programs in his capacity as an actor and director. But his talents didn’t end with films as he was also a celebrated painter and photographer.

Her was due to appear in Melbourne, Australia, for the installation and launch of an exhibition at the time of the announcement but had to cancel so he could receive treatment for prostate cancer instead.

His battle with prostate cancer lasted for 10 years but his representatives only publicly announced that Dennis was ill in October 2009; the logical response to leaked images of Hopper on his way to hospital amid a mass of tubes and drips.

His family members said that the cancer had spread to other organs in the body and doctors had been unable to stem its growth.

Dennis Hopper and wife Daria Halprin - Farewell to an artist

His private life hit the headlines around that time too when his protracted and ugly divorce from his fifth wife, Victoria, was splashed all over the news.

Throughout that saga he quietly battled his illness although it is unclear which methods he used to fight the spread of the cancer.

It was in 2010 that Hopper’s health became visibly worse and dramatic weight loss accentuated his plight. In the early months of the year his lawyer stated that Dennis was too ill to receive further chemotherapy.

He passed away at his Los Angeles home surrounded by friends and family at the age of 74.

TV on the Radio Bassist Gerard Smith died of Lung Cancer

Gerard Smith died of lung cancer

Gerard Smith, the bassist for the arty funk/rock band, TV on the Radio, died tragically at the age of 34 as a result of complications with lung cancer.

At the time the band cancelled their shows in Chicago, Denver, Detroit and Minneapolis, having previously made an announcement about Smith on their official website in March 2011:

Gerard [Smith] is fortunate enough to have health insurance and is receiving excellent medical care,” the announcement read. “Already we have seen dramatic results. Combine that with Gerard’s legendarily wilful disposition and it might just be cancer that has the problem. We appreciate your concern and support for Gerard and his family.”

Gerard Smith of TV on the Radio

But shortly after that the following passage appeared on the band’s website:

We are very sad to announce the death of our beloved friend and bandmate, Gerard Smith, following a courageous fight against lung cancer. Gerard passed away the morning of April 20, 2011. We will miss him terribly.”

Smith joined the band in 2005, contributing to albums Return to Cookie Mountain, and Dear Sciencein 2008, which Rolling Stone magazine named Album of the Year.

Lung cancer is a vitriolic disease most often associated with smoking, however, it can also be caused by other cancers spreading throughout the body.

According to cancerhelp.org.uk, “The second most important risk factor for lung cancer is exposure to radon gas. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can seep out of the soil. Other, less important risk factors include air pollution, exposure to certain chemicals, previous lung disease, family history of lung cancer, past cancer treatment and having poor immunity. In some people who get lung cancer there is no obvious risk factor.”

Gerard Smith playing live with Tv on the Radio

Sadly, just not smoking isn’t enough to prevent this disease.

Someone dying in their mid-thirties, with the clichéd ‘so much to live for’ is an obvious tragedy but it’s also a reminder that we should all live as healthily as we possibly can and squeeze as much joy out of every moment of every day as possible. Say no to television, spectator sports, and activities that destroy our health or provide only fake pleasure in faux worlds such as taking drugs, drinking, gambling or gaming – that’s not living. Let’s stop obsessing over our looks and start obsessing over our souls, and like the saying goes, ‘live everyday as if it was your last and explore every moment like it’s your first.’

Turn your computer off now, kiss your husband, tickle your grandma, walk in the woods, play with your dog, pick a peach from a tree and eat it, dangle your toes in a river. Revel in the moment and realise you’re alive.

 

If I had my life over…

If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I’m one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.

~ Nadine Stair

 

Bill Hicks succumbed to pancreatic cancer

Bill Hicks

Bill Hicks was best known as an American stand-up comedian and his routines offered a satirical and often angry commentary on social, political and philosophical issues, as well as what he liked to call “dick jokes“. He died of pancreatic cancer aged just 32 and only gained real acclaim years afterwards, but it is widely felt that he made his stamp on comedy early on and should be recognised for the continuing relevance of his work.

William Melvin Hicks (commonly known as Bill) was born in 1961 in Georgia. He lived a nomadic childhood, moving from place to place with his parents and siblings before finally settling in Texas at the age of seven. Hicks was brought up a Baptist and found his interest in comedy at Sunday school where he performed to other kids. His strong opinions on religion as a ‘concept which is no longer relevant’ to us as evolving humans, could perhaps be traced back to his childhood.

The young performer drew inspiration from greats such as Woody Allen and Richard Pryor. In a collection of letters, lyrics and routines entitled Bill Hicks: Love All The People, the comedian talks about how by the time he was 17 his parents had become so worried about his behaviour they took him to see a psychoanalyst who eventually informed him “It’s them, not you“.

At the age of 21, Hicks decided to break from the constraints of his upbringing and began to experiment with alcohol and drugs. Although these gave him confidence to explore new avenues in his work he eventually had to quit, realising that the consequences would compromise his health and ability to perform. Nevertheless the theme of drugs and alcohol features heavily in his stand-up routines and is tied in with his life-long aim to expose the truth, no matter how controversial: “I don’t do drugs anymore, but I want to tell you something. I know it’s not a very popular concept these days, but…I had a great time doing drugs,“ he once told his audience.

Hicks was always very open and forward about his distrust of politicians, “I hope you know this – I think you do – all governments are lying c**ksuckers“ but even more-so those tied up in religion. In a mock address to televangelist Pat Robertson, he once said: “Go back to Virginia, marry your daughter, and stay out of my life, you Nazi hillbilly f**k!”

Bill Hicks

Bill Hicks may have upset a lot of people but he enlightened a whole lot more.

An invitation to appear on the David Letterman Show in 1984 should have been Hicks’ big break but a “handicap joke“ he regularly used on his tours (which was part of a gag aimed at former smokers and in no way offensive towards wheelchair bound people) didn’t go down well with NBC producers and his performance was subsequently cut. Another appearance on the show in 1993 was also cut due to concern over Hicks’ “anti-religious“ jokes. The routine was eventually played in full in 2009, when Hicks’ mother Mary appeared as a guest.

In April 1993 Bill was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer whilst on tour in Australia. He complained of pains in his side and was told that the cancer had spread to his liver. Despite the diagnosis and weekly chemotherapy he continued to perform, delivering his last stand-up in New York on January 4 1994. He died at his parents’ home in Arkansas the following month.

Shortly before his death, Hicks wrote a prayer which he requested to be released as his “last words“ following his death. It concludes: “I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.“

Bob Marley's death from cancer was preventable

Bob Marley

Reggae legend Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley died of cancer on May 11th 1981 at the age of 36. The illness stemmed from an innocuous toe injury sustained during a football game in May 1977. Due to his Rastafari belief that the body must remain “whole”, Marley refused to have his toe amputated even after doctors found a form of malignant melanoma – a less common and very dangerous form of skin cancer – in the wound in July of that year. Despite his distrust of medical doctors he let an orthopaedic surgeon perform a skin graft on his toe but that didn’t stop the cancer’s growth and it eventually spread to his lungs, liver, stomach and brain.

Marley collapsed while jogging in New York’s Central Park after playing two shows as part of his autumn 1980 Uprising Tour. The tour was cancelled, but Marley played one last concert at the Stanley Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 23rd 1980. The most famous live version of “Redemption Song” was recorded at that concert.

Towards the end of his life, Marley sought the help of German physician Josef Issels, who offered him an alternative treatment for the cancer. The “Issels” Treatment is based on holistic principles and involves eliminating certain substances from the diet, having specialised vaccines and vitamin supplements, and chelation and enzymatic therapies, not unlike the work Dr Gabriel Cousens is currently doing in Arizona.

The method is unapproved in the UK and deemed ineffective by the American Cancer Society.

Bob Marley could have prevented his death by cancer

Bob Marley could have prevented his death by cancer by having his toe amputated

Marley died shortly afterwards during a stop-over in a Miami hospital whilst on his way back to Jamaica from Germany. It is thought that the brain tumour killed him but the lung and stomach cancer also played their parts.

The star refused to write a will because he believed that doing so would go against the Rastafari belief that life is “everlasting” and ferocious legal battles between Marley’s children ensued as a result of this.

To this day, Bob Marley remains the most widely known and revered performer of reggae music in the world and is considered a hero by many, especially those with a penchant for cannabis. The singer-songwriter is also hailed for helping the spread of Jamaican music and the Rastafari Movement, of which he remained a committed follower till his death. In 1994 Marley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2001 he was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Denise Borino-Quinn died of cancer aged 46

Denise Borino-Quinn in The Sopranos

Denise Borino-Quinn was famous for her role as the wife of a mob boss in the extremely popular award-winning HBO series, The Sopranos, died of cancer in 2010 at the young age of 46.

She passed away after a long term battle with liver cancer at Morristown Memorial Hospital, New Jersey. A mass funeral was provided for her at Farmer Funeral Home.

The Sopranos ran from 1999 to 2007 and revolved around the life ans times of mobster Tony Soprano and his mafia style wrangling. It had a hugely diverse range of characters and some were most certainly more colourful than others.

The gritty and realistic show put a different spin on the tired old mafia theme, delving deeper into the mind of the main character and the difficulties he faced in maintaining his family and work amidst illicit dealings and lusty affairs.

Denise Borino-Quinn

Denise Borino-Quinn died of cancer in 2010

Borino-Quinn landed the part in 2000 after a successful open casting call interview. Her role in the show was as Ginny Sacramoni, wife of Johnny Sacramoni. Ginny was described as ”Rubenesque” in an HBO character bio; of a classic, natural womanly shape.

IMDB.com, one of the leading internet movie databases, states that Borino-Quinn was working as a legal secretary and part-time manicurist in Roseland, New Jersey, when she went for the role in The Sopranos. She landed the part after fighting off fierce competition from around 14,000 other applicants.

Her husband, Luke Quinn, died in March 2010, her passing coming seven months later. The couple married in 2005.

Elizabeth Edwards was a great example to all cancer victims

Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards’ long standing battle with cancer came to a tragic end on Tuesday 7th December, 2010. She died at her home in Chapel Hill, her family and friends at her bedside as she passed away.

Just a few days prior to her passing doctors had told Elizabeth that further treatment was pointless as the stage IV cancer which had spread into her bones, had metastized in her liver. At the relatively young age of 61 she left behind her three children, Cate, Jack and Emma Claire, as well as a lasting legacy in literary form from her time as a best selling author.

Her life followed varying career paths which began with her role as a law clerk for a Federal Judge, and in 1978 she moved up the ladder to become an associate at Harwell, Barr, Martin and Sloan. In 1981 she worked at the Office of the Attorney General and legal firm Merriman, Nicholls and Crampton, but a pivotal and tragic event would soon lead her to step away from her legal roles.

She was the wife of former presidential candidate, John Edwards, although their marriage ended after their son Wade was killed in a jeep crash, and John publicly admitted to fathering a child with another woman. The ensuing divorce required a compulsory one year separation.

The loss of Wade led Elizabeth to form the “Wade Edwards Foundation” which was aimed at high school children who required aid in learning.

Elizabeth Edwards campaigning

Elizabeth Edwards’ life was mobilised after the death of her son

The death of her son changed so much in her life and was an awful loss to cope with, but her resilience really began to shine when she was diagnosed with cancer. The illness never deterred her from living a full life and, if anything, it motivated her to reach even greater heights.

Her first book, “Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers,” focused on the death of her son and her battle with cancer, while her second book, “Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities,” followed in May 2009, and looked in more depth at the difficulties she faced throughout her life, the loss of her father and son and the state of US health care.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2004 and the subsequent fight against the disease remained public. She became an activist for women’s health care and all sufferers of cancer. On March 22nd, 2007 she announced that her cancer had developed to stage IV and on December 6th, 2010 doctors ended all treatment.

Although her life endured so much difficulty and in tragic circumstances, she will be remembered as a brave and courageous woman who inspired millions with her strength in the face of great adversity.

Quiet George Harrison was beset by tumors

George Harrison

George Harrison was a member of undoubtedly the most famous group ever to have existed in the history of modern music. When Beatle-mania struck the United States and spread to the rest of the world, he was there in the thick of it alongside John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, playing on the biggest stages across the globe, living the dream that so many still try to realise.

Yet when Harrison began developing tumors in the 1990s, he put these down to the many nights of debauchery and his ceaseless smoking habit during the prime of his life in the 1960s. He was a party goer and loved the excess his lifestyle afforded him.

George Harrison post Beatles

George Harrison post Beatles

While Harrison was open about his career, his personal life he kept very secret, therefore making the progress of his illness difficult to follow. He passed away very suddenly – only four years after his initial diagnosis.

Harrison was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1997 after a lump had been discovered growing in the back of his throat. Four years later it was reported that Harrison had undergone surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his lung and it was obvious that the disease was spreading through his body. Later in 2001 Harrison reportedly began treatment at a Switzerland clinic to fight a brain tumor with radiation therapy but on November 29, 2001, Harrison, despite the aggressive onslaught of treatments, died as a result of throat, lung and brain tumors, at a friend’s home in Los Angeles, California.

George Harrison famously had a devotion to Oriental mysticism and it was he who convinced The Beatles to travel to India to sit at the feet of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Harrison was the youngest member of the band and also considered the most serene and quiet. He contributed to the group’s success with several songs, including ‘Here Comes The Sun’, ‘Taxman’ and ‘Something’.