2012-08-20 at 15:22
Michael Antcliffe, seen June 15 leading the survivor lap at the Relay for Life, died Saturday after a four-year battle with malignent melonoma.
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Two months ago, as he led the survivor’s walk at the annual Relay for Life, Michael Antcliffe said he wasn’t sure how much time he had left.
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Antcliffe on Saturday lost a four-year battle with malignant melanoma, a fight he used to raise both awareness and much-needed research dollars to combat cancer in all its forms.
On Monday he was remembered fondly.
“I paid my debt to you today. Somehow (through) all this sadness you made me smile. We’re all going to miss your daily updates and positive messages,” wrote Jennifer Wilson on Antcliffe’s Facebook page, referencing his “I Owe Michael Antcliffe $10” campaign, which saw him challenge the public to befriend him on Facebook, making a $10 donation to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation’s Northern Cancer Fund.
To date he’s managed to raise more than $14,000 for the fund, through both the Facebook campaign and a book, You’ll Never Guess Whose Dying of Cancer, which he released in April.
“Your journey has just begun. Fly free,” Wilson continued.
Jolene Scott had more of a personal connection with Antcliffe, one that dates back decades.
“I remember the day we met, junior kindergarten was so long ago,” she wrote. “You touched my heart and I am grateful to have known you. You will be missed and thought of often as you always were. Rest in peace and may your memory live forever in all who knew you. Thank you for being an inspiration.”
Christine Oksanen-Bertoldo made a simple request.
“For anyone who had friended Michael Antcliffe and hasn't followed through with your promise yet, please don't forget his dream will carry on with all of our help so let's show him what we can do.”
It wasn’t just his friends who thought highly of him, either.
“Michael was a special person – the kind you meet once in a lifetime. His inspirational spirit moved our community and will continue to do so,” said Glenn Craig, president and CEO of the hospital foundation, in a release issued on Monday.
“Even as he walked his own cancer journey, his focus was on the cancer patients that would come after him. His efforts were entirely selfless and will benefit others who find themselves facing this devastating issue.”
Antcliffe, who expended his energy fighting the disease while courageously trying to fight it, knew in June he didn’t have much time left.
It didn’t stop him from continuing the battle on both fronts.
“It is good to have so many people drawn together and their attention focused solely on finding ways to beat this disease,” he said on June 15, after walking around the Relay for Life track at Fort William Historical Park.
“It brings tears to your eyes when you realize how many people are getting behind one cause. I’m fighting it with everything I’ve got. I don’t know how much I’ve got left. I’ve put a lot of the table already. But we’ll see how it goes.”
Funeral arrangements are pending. Donations may still be made at www.canadahelps.org, where you can search for Michael Antcliffe, or by texting HOPE to 20222.
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