This past weekend, it came to light that one of the more beloved couples in BC’s craft beer scene was in trouble.
Brewer Tony Dewald, who has graced the cover of our magazine, is well known amongst the Lower Mainland beer community for over two decades of outstanding brewing, including during the seminal times at the legendary DIX BBQ & Brewery which gave birth to Vancouver’s current craft beer scene.
Tony’s wife Andy Brown, an artist whose Haida name Gaajuu Gwaang means Beauty In Grace, is equally famous amongst local craft beer folks both for innovating a series of hop necklaces and other beer-inspired crafts, and for her dynamic energy. However, Andy’s indomitable spirit has recently been put to the test.
Last August, Dewald was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Quietly, or at least unbeknownst to most of the beer community, Tony underwent major surgery to remove his bladder in October 2022. However, some cancer remained on his right kidney, so he recently began a series of radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
Naturally, Andy—a cancer survivor herself, having battled liposarcoma years back—inherited the role of Tony’s primary caretaker, keeping him focussed on preparing mentally and physically for this treatment.
Then, on Saturday, news began to spread amongst BC’s craft beer community that Andy was sick again. Cancer had returned, this time in the form of breast cancer. Cruelly, it placed them both in the position of having to support a spouse battling cancer.
A Cruel Two For One
About this news, Andy shares, “I think at first I was in complete denial. Tony was sick, then diagnosed with cancer, followed by major surgery, then our little dog passed away suddenly. I thought there was no way it could actually be cancer trying to take me down, too! But, wrong I was.”
An almost-overwhelmed Brown summarizes, “It’s quite exhausting, but there isn’t any time to be exhausted.”
Tony is currently on medical leave at the brewery he’s employed by, and it’s clear that finances are becoming a serious concern for the couple. For this reason, Brown started a fundraiser using the popular website GoFundMe.
Due to the care the community has shown for this couple, the fundraiser instantly surpassed the extremely modest goal Andy set of $6000; within a day, donations exceeded $10K. However, it’s clear that this amount isn’t truly going to solve the type of challenges these two will be facing for some time to come. Which is why we’ve brought your attention to this situation.
For those who are able to contribute, as well as those who would like to learn more about the situation in Andy’s own words, please use the button below or visit the GoFundMe page for the full story.