Tragically Hip Fan with Brain Cancer Sees Band One Last Time and Then Dies

Joanne Schiewe was always a Tragically Hip fan, but when she found out that Gord Downie had glioblastoma, the same kind of brain cancer from which she suffered, her connection to the band became even stronger.

While doctors gave her only a short time to live, she survived much longer than predictions. One of her big wishes was to see the band play at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, but was unable to get tickets online. But then a bunch of friends came to her rescue, making sure she and her partner were able to go.

It was touch-and-go for a while when Joanne’s condition deteriorated just days before the show. Happily, though she was able make it. From the CBC:

“It was a bit overwhelming at times just because of what the tumour had done … but it was wonderful and I have really, really fond memories of the whole night,” Spier said.

“Just walking out of the concert with her, the number of people who just showed up next to her and recognized her and said, ‘Oh my God, you made it to the concert. That’s so wonderful.’ That was also overwhelming for her, but when we had a chance to reflect on it afterwards, she was really touched by that.”

Joanne hung on for another week-and-a-half and was able to see the final gig from Kingston. Her partner says that Saturday night was her “last really good day where she was bright-eyed.”

I expect that we’ll hear many more stories like this in in the coming months.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “Tragically Hip Fan with Brain Cancer Sees Band One Last Time and Then Dies

  • September 1, 2016 at 4:19 am

    That’s a really touching story. I hope she found comfort in The Hip.

  • September 1, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Yes she made big news here in Winnipeg. I hope she had a good last few days.


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