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Lui Passaglia celebrates 20th anniversary of Grey Cup winning field goal

11/27/2014 11:33 EST | Updated 01/27/2015 05:59 EST
One of the most recognized and most loved players in Canadian Football history will celebrate this weekend the 20th anniversary of his iconic game winning field goal that won the B.C. Lions the 1994 Grey Cup.

But Lui Passaglia is also in the fight of his life having been diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in August 2013.

Twenty years after the field goal that sparked a fan party on the field, Passaglia still enjoys looking at the replay.

"This is when I knew it was going through," he said while watching the kick sail off his foot toward the crossbar. "Then the fans started running out onto the field."

"I think we only had 55,000 at the game, but when you go around the province 150,000 say they were there."

As fans get ready to celebrate the 20th anniversary of that moment, Passaglia finds himself in the midst of a much different battle — one that came with a shocking phone call from his doctor last summer.

"Really, i have cancer? he said. It's almost a sense of disbelief. You give your head a shake and ask the doctors what can be done."

Passaglia entered chemotherapy, but remained publicly silent about his cancer until this summer.

"I just had tests done three months ago and they haven't found any more cancer in my body," he said. "I have to have regular check-ups to see if it comes back or not."

Passaglia hoping for another win

Given a 50 per cent chance to beat it, the 60-year-old is now using his illness as a way to get others to avoid it. 

"It happened to me, but if you do things to prevent it early — have a colonoscopy, visit your doctor — men over 50, women too, If you catch it early, you can prevent it."

Passaglia is working to team up with the Lions and the CFL to do more on colon cancer awareness — the second leading cancer-killer for men in this country.

And although he has been cancer free for three months, he says he feels lucky to be able to celebrate with fans and old teammates this weekend.

"When you go through something like this you are appreciative of every day," he says. You don't know what a day from now or a week from now will bring."

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