Ronnie James Dio’s legacy lives on in a very big way other than his distinctive voice. A tragic takeaway from the singer’s 2010 death from stomach cancer is that it could have possibly been treated if it had been caught early enough. That’s why his wife, Wendy Dio, co-founded (along with Sandeep Kapoor, M.D.) the Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund and champions for early detection through its work. The fund has raised over $2.5 million so far, giving the money to efforts in advancing cancer screening methods. Wendy Dio explains that much of the research Stand Up and Shout benefits is on stomach, pancreatic and colon cancer, known for being common in men, because it’s often difficult to get men to visit the doctor to get checked out.
“Early detection saves lives,” Wendy stresses. Two of the organization’s best known events are the annual Ride for Ronnie, a motorcycle ride and concert, and the Bowl for Ronnie celebrity bowling tournament. These events, among others hosted by Stand Up and Shout, bring together Dio’s former bandmates, his friends and his admirers, like Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler, Gilby Clarke of Guns N’ Roses, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Otep’s Otep Shamaya.
“They all loved Ronnie,” Wendy says of the star-studded turnouts at the organization’s happenings. “He wasn’t just a wonderful talent, he was a wonderful person.” Next year is the tenth anniversary of Ronnie’s death, so Wendy says Stand Up and Shout will be planning something special. For this year, tickets are available for the fifth annual Ride for Ronnie on May 5th, starting in Glendale, California and riding to a performance by Eddie Trunk’s All Star Band.