Stephen Charles Fonyo, Jr., (born June 29, 1965) is a Canadian man who lost his left leg to cancer at age 12. He later embarked on a cross-Canada marathon entitled the "Journey for Lives" to raise funds for cancer research. In doing so, he followed in the footsteps of Terry Fox. Unlike Fox, who had to abandon the Marathon of Hope when his cancer returned, Fonyo completed the coast-to-coast marathon and also completed a marathon across the United Kingdom.
Fonyo began his "Journey for Lives" marathon on March 31, 1984 at age 18, and completed it on May 29, 1985, covering 7,924 km (4,924 mi) and raising $14 million (CDN). The early part of his run was overshadowed by the memory of Fox and many Canadians criticized him as a copycat. Despite this, he persevered and as he progressed beyond Fox's stopping point, he eventually won recognition in his own right for his efforts. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1985, the youngest person ever given that status at the time. This achievement was marred by grief, as his father Steve Fonyo, Sr. died of lung cancer the same year.
He studied mechanics and aircraft maintenance at an early age. He repeatedly ran afoul of the law, and was charged and convicted of various crimes. As of 2008, he was working as a mechanic in Surrey.
Fonyo's brushes with the law have been well documented. In 1996, he pleaded guilty to 16 charges for offences in Edmonton, including assault with a weapon, aggravated assault, fraud for writing bad cheques totalling $10,000 to supermarkets and possession of a stolen vehicle. He has also been convicted at least five times of impaired driving and seven times of driving without a licence, most recently in the fall of 2008. On August 13, 2009, Fonyo, last known to have been working as a heavy-machinery mechanic, appeared in Surrey Provincial Court charged with one count of assault. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one day in jail. He was credited for 10 days already served. He was also subject to a one-year probation order. But just five days later, the 44-year-old was back in Surrey court, having breached his conditions. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 14 days in jail.
On January 27, 2010, Fonyo gave a brief telephone interview to CTV News from the Surrey Remand Centre, where he was serving the balance of his sentence on an assault charge after breach of his parole. Fonyo stated it was wrong to have his Order of Canada revoked, as it was given to him for something he had previously done.
On December 7, 2010, Fonyo pleaded guilty to threatening Greenwood and to unrelated charges of fraud, credit card fraud and driving with a suspended licence.
- Matthew Ramsey (September 13, 2006). "Steve Fonyo once again runs into trouble with the law". Times-Colonist (CanWest). Retrieved 2010-05-27.
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