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Patrick Swayze has passed away after a long battle with cancer, aged 57.

The star – who was best known for his work in the films “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost”, as well as for his international hit “She’s Like The Wind” – was first diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in January 2008, and fought the disease bravely until his death yesterday.

“Patrick lived a thousand lifetimes in one lifetime,” said actor Rob Lowe. “He was an expert dancer, he wrote hit songs, he starred in hit movies, he was an amazing horseman. But the thing I will remember him most for was his amazing love affair with his wife Lisa.”

Swayze used his illness to raise awareness of the disease and funds for research into cures and treatment.

In September 2008, Swayze made an appearance on the ABC, NBC, and CBS simulcast charity extravaganza Stand Up To Cancer, a star-studded event that raised millions of dollars for cancer research.

“I dream that the word ‘cure’ will no longer be followed by the words ’it’s impossible’,” he told the audience. “Together, we can make a world where cancer no longer means living with fear, without hope, or worse”

“He said a beautiful thing: ’I’m just an individual living with cancer’,” said Stand Up To Cancer organizer Laura Ziskin. “That’s how he wants to be thought of. He’s in a fight, but he’s a fighter.”

In February of 2009, Swayze penned an open letter in the Washington Post urging world leaders to help in the fight against cancer.

“Ever since I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January 2008, I’ve been waging an intense, often hellacious battle… but I’m not alone,” wrote the star. "More than 1.4 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year. In the United States, one out of three women and one out of two men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes. Look around you; at one point or another, cancer will strike very close to home for everyone.

“By advancing good health, it also enables Americans to reach their individual potential and contribute more to society.”

To read the full letter, click here.

Swayze is survived by his wife of over 30 years, Lisa, and his mother, Patsy. He will be missed by both the celebrity world and those involved in the struggle against cancer.

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