Richard Dawson Thought He Had “Heartburn”

Family Feud host Richard Dawson had not been”battling” cancer for long, as is so often the case.

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“He was diagnosed with cancer just like three weeks ago, so it all just kind of happened really quickly,” Dawson’s son, Gary, told Access Hollywood Live on Monday. “He was actually going in for his first radiation treatment when he had a heart attack.”

Daughter Shannon, whose mom Gretchen Johnson was a contestant on Family Feud in 1981, told show hosts Billy Bush and Kit Hoover, “There were no signs before. He just thought he had heartburn and then he found out he had stage four esophageal cancer.”

Gary said he was thankful. “Luckily, he didn’t have to go through all the bad treatments and stuff. He didn’t have to go through a horrible quality of life for six to 12 months. No one wants to remember him that way.”

Dawson, 79, died Saturday from complications related to his cancer. His children and other family members were with him in his final moments.

“We all got to say goodbye,” Gary says. “When we were saying goodbye, his eyes popped open. He hugged us. It was a beautiful moment.”

USA Today

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