One of our great local heroes is gone.
Jon Henderson, who nine years ago was told he had only six months to live, finally ended his battle with cancer on April 24.
Jon had gone to happy hour at Conor O’Neills in Boulder the evening he passed. While he was entering his car to leave, he suffered a seizure that knocked him unconscious. Medical teams were unable to revive him.
Jon had, for the last several years, organized The Beating Cancer Benefit at Conor O’Neills, and this year he spread out to other area pubs, raising $17,000 for the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center.
In 2005, Jon and his band Spyz, laid down the tracks for a CD called The Big C, an inspirational, uplifting album that addressed Jon’s battle with the disease, but never got mired in the sadness of it. Last year that CD became the soundtrack to a documentary of the same name and the whole picture of what he had envisioned came together when the band performed the songs live, alongside the movie at Conor O’Neills. The gig had gone so well that Jon and Spyz had planned on doing more gigs in 2008.
Jon’s whole approach of telling his story without being melancholy about it, truly summed up his spirit. In an e-mail he sent in late March, he explained that he was going through a new round of chemotherapy and that he was convinced he’d be losing his hair. “Get your cameras together,” he told friends, before saying, “It’s been 9 years fighting this bitch.”
His brother, David, sent out an e-mail on April 25 that included a note Jon had left for friends and family. It read: “Oh well, I was lucky to have made it this far. And I put up a pretty darn good fight. No Crying. Enjoy Life!”
Memorials are being planned, but, as of press time no schedule had been set. Jon’s family has also requested that people do not send flowers. A memorial fund in Jon’s name is being set up with the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center.
Jon will be laid to rest next to his father in Rhode Island.