Dio fans force action over ignored cancer
Icon: Ronnie James Dio
Ronnie James Dio fans have helped bring attention to the ignored form of cancer that killed the iconic singer.
Cash raised by the Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund was instrumental in forcing the US government into action over gastric cancer, says widow Wendy Dio – and the resulting research could benefit hundreds of thousands of people.
The charity was launched soon after the singer’s death in 2010. Since then, Dio fans have contributed $600,000.
Wendy tells Blairing Out: “We gave the hospital Ronnie was at $117,000 and they put it to gastric cancers. Before that there were no government funds for gastric cancer research.
“With our seed money they were able to go to the government and say, ‘We’ve got funding for this.’ The government gave them a grant of $11 million. That was amazing.”
Wendy says she cried when she heard Dio’s bandmate Tony Iommi had also been diagnosed with cancer. She says: “We didn’t talk about it – he lives in England, I live here. But I sent him lots of encouragement, letters and things.”
Meanwhile, Sharon Osbourne has revealed she underwent a double mastectomy after her own cancer scare.
She’d fought colon cancer several years ago, and recently discovered she was carrying a gene which increased her chances of contracting the disease in her breasts. She made the decision to have them removed.
The wife and manager of Black Sabbath singer Ozzy tells Hello: “As soon as I found out I had the gene I thought, ‘The odds are not in my favour.’
“I’ve had cancer before and I didn’t want to live under that cloud. I decided to just take everything off. For me it was a no-brainer. I don’t even think of my breasts in a nostalgic way – I just wanted to be able to live my life without that fear all the time.”