Wendy Dio, the widow of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW, HEAVEN & HELL), says that BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi's early detection has been key in his recovery from the early stages of lymphoma with which he was diagnosed late last year.
Iommi received the "King Of Rock 'N Roll Award" at at the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund's second awards gala, which was held on October 31 at the Avalon nightclub in Hollywood, California.
Ronnie died of stomach cancer in May 2010 at the age of 67. At his public memorial service, Dio's son, Dan Padavona, cautioned the memorial crowd to be screened regularly by a doctor and take care of themselves, something he said his father did not do.
"I beg you not to make the same mistake my dad made," said Padavona. "For dad, the show always had to go on. He ignored the warning signs for years, and all along the cancer was growing and mutating from something that was probably easily defeatable into a monster which even Dio couldn't slay."
Speaking to Loudwire at yesterday's (Monday, November 19) press day at Julien's Auction House in Beverly Hills, California to promote a massive guitar auction with items donated by METALLICA, IRON MAIDEN, the FOO FIGHTERS, BON JOVI, Eddie Van Halen, and many more, Wendy said, "Tony was struggling with his own cancer, and hopefully … it's in remission, which [would be] fantastic. And that's early detection again, that was early. Maybe if Ronnie hadn't passed away, [Iommi] wouldn't have gotten checked early. We don't know, but that was early detection, and [the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund ceremony] was great because he's been through so much this year and to honor him, that was great. And for Geezer [Butler] to give him the award was very, very special. All of honorees are special."
She added, "We mainly deal with men's cancers and we find that men don't get [regularly] checked. Women are very good. Men have to be drug [to the doctor's office], but we're trying to make awareness that early detection saves lives and for your loved ones to save their lives by getting checked."