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Jim Stynes set a fantastic example of hope and endurance

The Melbourne AFL legend and club chairman, who died aged 45 on Tuesday morning 20 March, 2012, was initially diagnosed with metastatic melanoma.

The aggressive skin cancer can travel quickly to other parts of the body, Professor McArthur says.

Patients on average survive just nine months. Stynes lived for three years after the disease developed into brain cancer.

“For Jim to survive three years is a testament to his determination and what a remarkable man he was,” Prof McArthur told AAP on Tuesday.

Faced with more treatment and operations, Stynes would often remark “bring it on”, Prof McArthur said. “Jim did not talk about `how long have I got’.

“He wanted to keep going and look forward.” Prof McArthur said he had lost count of the number of operations Stynes underwent, believed to be about 20.

Stynes had “bounced back from all of them”, he said.

In November, when he was given just three weeks to live, Stynes consulted his neurosurgeon and had further surgery on brain tumours, Prof McArthur said. It bought Stynes time to take a memorable family holiday to central America.

In his last week Stynes was still living a full life, attending a Melbourne football match and his son’s seventh birthday, his wife, Sam, said in a message posted on Facebook.

Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said Stynes was an extraordinary individual who dedicated his life to improving the lives of others.

“Mr Stynes’ willingness to share his experience highlighted the ongoing impact that living with advanced cancer can have on a person, their family and their community,” he said in a statement.