Ont. man who tweeted about his terminal cancer dies at 50
TORONTO -- Mike Sloan, who spent the past several months using Twitter to share his honest depictions of living with terminal cancer, has died.
The 50-year-old London, Ont. man used the platform to connect with his 13,000 followers and touch on difficult subjects such as assisted suicide and palliative care -- all with a touch of humour.
On Monday, a friend posted a message on Sloan’s Twitter account, announcing that “Mike Sloan passed peacefully at 1:25pm EST via MAID (Medical assistance in dying).”
Twitter user Bob Smith said Sloan had asked him to break the news to his followers. “I was with him at the end, holding his hand. He thanks you all for your support on this journey. His last words were, ‘Tell Chub I love him.’”
The tweet was shared widely, prompting an outpouring of condolences. Even in his final days, Sloan was still updating his legion of supporters.
Sloan appeared to have been frustrated with shortness of breath and had wanted doctors to increase his medication. But he wondered if “maybe this is as good as it gets.”
He’d been diagnosed with stage four anaplastic thyroid cancer last February -- an aggressive, treatment-resistant cancer with a low survival rate. Sloan had made the decision to forgo chemotherapy treatments and enjoy the rest of his life.
In his last weeks, he’d been tweeting about the recent snowfall in Atlantic Canada and the surprising amount of support he’d received from people. “It’s been humbling and feels great. Thanks to all of you,” he tweeted last week.
SLOAN: 'I WAS A GROUCH' ON TWITTER
Several weeks ago, Sloan told CTV’s Your Morning about how he’d been a grouch online until he learned he only had a couple of months to live.
“I’ve been on Twitter for almost ten years and for many of those years I was a grouch. But with the news of what was happening with my life, I thought to myself, I've got to turn this around somehow,” he said.
Sloan said sharing his experiences online was one of the ways of fulfilling his belief that, “you can find something positive out of anything.” That included using his platform to raise over $28,000 for an Ontario-based youth opportunities agency that builds youth and women’s shelters.
“That’s one of the positive legacies that have come from his,” he said at the time.
With files from CTVNews.ca writer Nicole Bogart