The Story Of Geoff Nantes, A Fighter Behind the Scenes
Article by Rob Gorican, 2013 Fight To End Cancer Fighter
I was honoured to be chosen as one of the fight team for the Fight to End Cancer, in 2013, a fundraiser in support of cancer research, with proceeds going directly to support the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. The event was also in need of a stage manager and so I immediately thought of Julie, who didn’t hesitate to answer the call to help. Since that year, we have both been actively and proudly involved with the production of this annual gala event. Fight to End Cancer has a very simple motto: “Defeat Is Not An Option”. It’s what guides us and what keeps us going in even the darkest and most challenging times.
Julie and her family are facing one of those times now and I am asking you to answer the call for someone who has already given so much – and who needs our help. Geoff was diagnosed with cancer at young age of 36 and he had not purchased life insurance yet. After the diagnosis was made, he was not able to do so. Since his original diagnosis, Geoff had not been able to work much and their savings have been depleted. Costs for medications (most not covered by OHIP), travel to out-of-town appointments, mortgage and baby supplies on Julie’s single income for a family of 4 have left her and the children in a compromising situation. Julie has been on maternity leave since Eddie was born in July and so the family of 4 has been living on 55% of her pay.
After speaking with Jennifer Huggins, founder and Executive Director for the Fight To End Cancer, we have established a fundraiser for Julie and her family. By simply clicking on the link below, we are asking you to donate any amount you can toward this cause. 100% of the proceeds will be given to Julie and her family – any amount is helpful and greatly appreciated.
Julie said the first time Geoff was diagnosed, she remembered going online and seeing several “doom and gloom” stories. “I remember a friend saying to me it’s because people who are doing well don’t take time to share their story,” she said. “I think it’s important, when you’re moving forward and you have some positivity, it’s good to share it so other people can hopefully be encouraged through that.”
Please help Julie and her boys with a way forward. 100 % of the monies collected will be used to create a fund for Julie, Henry and Eddie’s future.
A Little About Geoff
On Saturday, January 25, 2020, Geoff Nantes slipped quietly away while surrounded by his loving family and friends. Geoff, who was 41, leaves behind the love of his life, his wife Julie Van Duzen and their two beautiful boys Henry (4) and Edward (6 months). Geoff was always cheerful and willing to help anyone. He loved playing the drums, musical theatre, Star Wars, sound and lighting design and spending time with his family. He had a great laugh and a wonderful sense of humour and will be missed by everyone who was blessed to know him.
Geoff met Julie when they worked together on the show “Man of La Mancha” which was the first of many shows they would collaborate on. They were devastated when Geoff was diagnosed with his cancer six months before their wedding but he fought hard to slay the dragon and win the heart of his princess.
They lived happily for almost 5 years and were given the gift of their son Henry. This past spring they were dealt another blow as Geoff’s cancer returned and he fought hard again to be here for the birth of their second child Eddie. Geoff was incredibly grateful for the love and support of friends and family who have surrounded him and his family with love since his diagnosis, through meals, babysitting, visits, donations and kindness.
About The Fight To End Cancer
The Fight To End Cancer (FTEC) is a year-round initiative carried out by ambassadors, sponsors and volunteers worldwide. Over $1,500,000 has been donated to date, since our inaugural year in 2012. Funds raised by FTEC are donated directly to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. Each year we celebrate the incredible hard work and dedication of our FTEC family with a black-tie charity boxing gala. This gala showcases ten men and women who represent our Official Fight Team. Our goal is to raise funds for cancer research year-round with the support of the local community and business owners. Let’s make a difference now in the fight to end cancer, for a long and successful future for everyone. This is an event like no other and has quickly become one of the most anticipated events in Toronto. www.fighttoendcancer.com
About The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation at University Health Network raises funds for breakthrough research, exemplary teaching and compassionate care at Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute, which now includes The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute and The Campbell Family Breast Cancer Research Institute. More information about the Foundation can be found at www.thepmcf.ca