Famous Composer Dies of Cancer, ‘King of Chemo’ Cycles Cross-Country and More


From composer Ryuichi Sakamoto’s death to the “King of Chemo” cycling across the United States to raise funds for mental health and cancer charities, here’s what’s happening in the oncology space this week.

Ryuichi Sakamoto died of rectal cancer.

Ryuichi Sakamoto, an Oscar- and Grammy-winning composer, member of the Yellow Magic Orchestra and one of the first musicians to popularize electronic music, died on March 28 of rectal cancer. He was 71 years old.

Sakamoto, who composed the scores for movies such as “The Revenant,” “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” and “The Last Emperor,” announced in January 2021 that he had received a cancer diagnosis in June of 2020. A message on his website read, “From now on, I will be living alongside cancer. But I am hoping to make music for a little while longer.”

“The King of Chemo” is cycling across the country.

Iain Ward, who was diagnosed with stage 3 brain cancer in 2019 and is referred to on social media as “the King of Chemo,” is currently en route in a cross-country bike ride with his friend, Adee Phelan, to raise awareness and funds for mental health and cancer nonprofits. In addition to the ride from New York to Los Angeles, Ward hopes to break the world record for the most money raised by a single person running a marathon and run the fastest marathon dressed as a video game character, he told CNN Sport.

“I could get very upset about the bad poker hand that I’ve been dealt, but at the same time, it’s almost arrogant of me to not look at the other amazing poker hand that I’ve been dealt simultaneously,” he said.

“The King of Chemo” has 4.8 million followers on TikTok, and he said that his priority is to get as many followers as possible so that companies will pay him to promote their products. The proceeds will then be donated to charity.

Kathy Griffin posted about getting an MRI on Easter Sunday.

Kathy Griffin, a comedian and lung cancer survivor, smiles at the camera Photographer: Michael Tullberg Collection: Getty Images Entertainment

Actress and comedianne Kathy Griffin posted a lung cancer update on Easter.

Photographer: Michael Tullberg Collection: Getty Images Entertainment

Actress and comedienne Kathy Griffin, who announced in August 2021 that she had received a diagnosis of lung cancer, recently posted a photo on Instagram showing her in the hospital getting an MRI on Easter.

“Happy Easter??? Getting an MRI,” the caption read.

After being diagnosed, Griffin, aged 62, more recently revealed that she believes radon exposure could have played a role in her disease.

A mother won $2 million after her daughter’s last cancer treatment.

Geraldine Gimblet of Lakeland, Florida, purchased a $2 million Bonus Cashword lottery ticket the day after her daughter completed treatment for breast cancer, which Gimblet used her savings to help pay for.

"The day before my mom bought this ticket, I rang the bell and walked out of the hospital after completing my last treatment for breast cancer," her daughter, who was not named, told lottery officials.

"My mom had taken out her life savings to take care of me when I was sick," she said, adding that she was "just so happy for her."

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