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Hill Life & People

‘The time has come for me to say goodbye,’ Dewar leaves a final message filled with hope, grace

By Paul Dewar      

In a Facebook post on the day he died on Feb. 6, Paul Dewar shares his hope for a better world.

Paul Dewar, tweeted this photo of himself on Oct. 24, 2018, in Ottawa outside his home, in response to @StephDashNash who urged people to wear any type of toque to mark Canada's first ever brain cancer awareness day and to post on it social media. She called it Hats for Hope. Dewar tweeted: 'Thanks for bringing this up! #BrainCancerAwarenessDay.' Photograph courtesy of Twitter/Paul Dewar

Former NDP MP Paul Dewar, 56, who represented Ottawa Centre from 2006 to 2015, and was his party’s longtime foreign affairs critic, died on Feb. 6 of brain cancer. He died at home in Ottawa surrounded by his wife, Julia Sneyd, and their two sons, Nathaniel and Jordan. Mr. Dewar confirmed in June that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer last February, Grade 4 glioblastoma, the same type of terminal cancer that had killed The Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie in 2017 and U.S. Senator John McCain in 2018. But he described his illness as a “gift,” in a big feature story in the Ottawa Citizen in September 2018. He embraced the time he had left on Earth and what was important in his life, which was his family, friends, and his community. He also started a non-profit organization, Youth Action Now, and raised $200,000 for young people and future leaders. His family posted his final farewell message on Facebook on Feb. 6, one filled with hope and grace.

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