Thomas Fekete, the guitarist for the indie rock band Surfer Blood, died Monday after a battle with cancer, and the GoFundMe page started by his wife seven months ago originally constructed to pay for his healthcare continues to raise money.
At the time of publication, the GoFundMe page had raised $63,379 by 1,435 donors. The 27-year-old Fekete’s wife, Jessica, broke the news of her husband’s death on the site Tuesday.
As she wrote:
“Our sweet Thomas passed on last night, peacefully in his sleep, holding my hand. With one last sigh, he let go of the burden of pain and suffering that he has been bravely carrying for so long. I am full of comfort knowing that he is now free, and long for the day I get to be with him again. …
“It was an absolute privilege to stand next to Thomas and face this monster head on. Even as his body failed him, his mind and spirit soldiered on. Never was there a day that we weren’t filled with hope. Never was there a day that he even considered throwing in the towel. He was the kind-hearted, funny, fearless, magnetic beam of light you all knew him to be up until his very last breath.
“Thomas John Fekete, I love you and live for you. Nothing will make me more proud than being able to call myself your wife.”
From the Surfer Blood’s official Twitter account:
Fekete was one of the founding members of the band, which garnered success with 2009 single, “Swim.”
At the end of 2015, Jessica wrote on GoFundMe that the family had not anticipated that Fekete’s fight would be such a long haul, and she said that it cost about $15,000 out of pocket monthly for him to receive care—which included months of chemotherapy and a number of surgeries.
“Right now, I’d like to keep it simple: Let’s get Thomas to 2016,” she wrote at the time. “Another year of promise and another year of new opportunities. 2015 has brought so much, and we are so excited to see what 2016 holds.”
A tumor was discovered in Fekete’s abdomen last year, but after it was removed, doctors discovered the cancer had moved to his spine and lungs. He had to leave the band and give up touring in order to try to heal, and that’s when the family began asking for financial help.
A number of musicians—including Yo La Tengo, Guided By Voices, Real Estate, and Lou Barlow—contributed to a benefit album of previously unreleased tracks to help raise money for Fekete’s treatment.
Jessica’s last wish for her husband was the sweetest of all. As she wrote, “Now, my beautiful angel, go find Bowie and jam.”