Ronnie James Dio widow, Wendy Dio recalled in an interview with U.K Planet Rock radio the last days of her late husband, that lost a battle with cancer back in 2010, at the age of 67. She said that they called the cancer “the dragon”, saying Ronnie was going to “Kill The Dragon”, being a reference to his 2002 studio album “Killing The Dragon”.
“We were told it was stage four cancer, but we didn’t believe that Ronnie wouldn’t make it, because Ronnie was a very strong person. We went to Houston to MD Anderson [Cancer Center] for his chemo treatment, and we would say, ‘We’re killing the dragon.’ We called it the ‘dragon,’ and we said, ‘We’re killing the dragon.’ Ronnie didn’t suffer a lot. He did his chemo treatments. And I didn’t think he was gonna die. I [thought] he was gonna beat it.
“When I realized it was too late was on the Friday [May 14, 2010]. He got up and said he didn’t feel well at all,” she continued. “And so I called his doctor over, and we went to the hospital. He was in extreme pain — agony — and so they gave him a bunch of morphine, and Ronnie actually went into a coma. And we stayed in the hospital there until Sunday morning when he passed away.”
“Geezer (Butler) and Gloria Butler (His Wife) were amazing; they were there with me the entire time. They just couldn’t do enough for me. And it was really nice. With Ronnie coming back with Sabbath this last time (As Heaven & Hell), all the problems everybody had had before all disappeared. They were all the best of friends. They were doing amazing, playing amazing. The friendship was unbelievable. And Geezer and Ronnie were planning to [take] a trip to Egypt together.”
“There was about 30 people [who] came — close friends of Ronnie’s — and we were in the hospital with him. And he passed away Sunday morning.” [I was in] denial. Total denial. Especially when three weeks before he passed away, he was accepting the [Revolver] Golden Gods award [in Los Angeles], and he was doing fine. And we all thought, ‘He’s gonna make it.'”
Back in 2009, Dio was diagnosed with stomach cancer and underwent treatment at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. On May 4, 2010, Heaven & Hell announced they were canceling all summer dates as a result of Dio’s health condition. His last live performance was with Heaven & Hell on August 29, 2009, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. After that, Dio died of the illness on May 16, 2010.
I am a Brazilian journalist, a Classic Rock and Heavy Metal lover. Music has always been part of my life, helped me through tough moments and was with me to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After college I did a postgraduate degree in digital communication. This has helped me to make the website better and bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG