07/11/2012 05:13 EDT | Updated 09/10/2012 05:12 EDT

Dad who pleaded for experimental cancer drug dies

A Toronto man has succumbed to cancer just weeks after making a public appeal for access to an experimental drug that his oncologist suggested was his only hope for survival.

Darcy Doherty, 48, died from advanced melanoma on Tuesday. His family announced his passing today.

"Darcy was a very special person and we will miss him greatly,” his wife, Rebecca Cumming, said in a statement released today.

"He remains an inspiration to our family and many others whose lives have been touched by cancer."

Weeks ago, Doherty went public with his plea for drug company Bristol-Myers Squibb to give him compassionate access to an experimental drug known as BMS-936558 that could be used to treat his cancer.

Doherty was first diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and had previously been treated with a different drug, which extended his quality of life for a number of years. But he stopped responding to it.

His oncologist, Dr. David Hogg, previously told CBC News that Doherty was out of treatment options and that the experimental drug was his last chance.

"Without this drug he has no hope," said Hogg. "His disease is progressing, he will die of the disease and I don't have any other therapy to provide him at this point."

An online petition was launched to try to get the drug company to give Doherty compassionate access to BMS-936558.

His wife said the family had been hopeful that Doherty would get access to the drug and "Darcy would have another miracle."

But Cumming said: "Sadly, that did not happen."

Doherty is survived by his wife and three children.