For the second time in less than a decade, cancer has claimed the life of a member of the beloved late-'90s boyband LFO

By Maura Hohman
November 21, 2018 01:40 PM
Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect

For the second time in less than a decade, cancer has claimed the life of a member of early ’00s boyband LFO.

Devin Lima died Wednesday morning at 41 years old — some 13 months after he had surgery to remove a football-size tumor caused by stage-four adrenal cancer. And in 2010, the band’s founder Rich Cronin died from leukemia at age 36.

“It is with a truly broken heart that I confirm that Harold ‘Devin’ Lima passed away early this morning after a valiant battle with cancer. Devin, as the world knows him, was an extraordinary talent, a doting father to his six children, and a loving partner to their mother. He was a beloved son and brother and a friend to so many,” Lima’s bandmate Brad Fischetti confirmed in a statement.

“On behalf of the LFO family, thank you for the tremendous outpouring of love from friends, family, fans, media, and those in the music industry.”

At the time of Lima’s surgery, the last living “Summer Girls” singer, Fischetti told fans on YouTube that the “surgery was great. The tumor was the size of a football. But [the surgery] was smooth, they didn’t have to take out some of the organs they thought they would.”

The clip shows the pair laughing together in the hospital.

Devin Lima of LFO
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Lima, who lay shirtless with a bandage on his neck, couldn’t help but joke about his football-sized tumor. “Tom Brady called and said I’m going to pass it around,” Lima said.

“You’re minus one kidney but you’re still beautiful,” Fischetti added. “Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers and love. We feel it over here.”

“I love all my brothers and sisters,” Lima added. “Peace.”

The band first revealed Lima’s health battle in earlier YouTube video, explaining that they were hoping to announce the next leg of their Rich in Love tour but instead had to postpone that announcement due to Lima’s “serious” health problems.

“I don’t feel like it’s some kind of cancer, I don’t feel like that. [It’s] just got to come out,” Lima said. “The lesson is, it’s great to be holistic and have positive vibes. I’ve cured a lot with just my mind. But it’s good to have checkups. It’s good to also have a physician and get checkups throughout your life. I could have maybe spotted this earlier but the pain only kicked in three weeks ago. And I tried different things to let it go away. It’s time to go in.”

After surgery, Fischetti also told the New York Post‘s Page Six: “Devin’s surgery went very well. The tumor was successfully removed. His left kidney and adrenal gland were also removed as they were engulfed by the football-size tumor in his abdomen. Thankfully, the surgeons were able to save all of his other internal organs. The pathology report on the tumor should be in next week.”

“We’re so thankful for your thoughts and prayers,” the band added on Instagram. “We’re awaiting the pathology report so please continue to pray that the tumor was NOT cancer. Thanks again for all your support. Much love.”

About 10 days after the surgery, Fischetti shared with fans that Lima was diagnosed with “primary adrenal cancer, meaning it started in the adrenal gland, which is really rare.”

He began: “Devin asked me to give you this update without him because, frankly, he’s not feeling very well. But, he asked me to send you his love and gratitude for all the love and prayers you’ve sent his way. He’s had a tough recovery. He had a few really difficult days in the hospital, but thankfully, he’s home now, resting and healing.”

Fischetti went on: “I wish we had better news to share. It’s devastating news but at the same time, there’s nobody I know stronger than Devin Lima. No one has a stronger body, mind or soul. If anybody can defeat this, it’s Devin. I know with your prayers and your thoughts and your positive energy coming down his way, there’s no doubt that he will beat it.”

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Cronin, on the other hand, shared less about his five-year battle. A year after he was diagnosed, he told Entertainment Weekly, “I am truly thankful for the success I had. And if it happens again, that’d be really nice. I’m just that same guy writing pop songs to make people happy. And I still only like girls in Abercrombie & Fitch,” a reference to the most famous line in “Summer Girls,” which Cronin penned.

The band reunited for a reunion tour in 2009. Though Lima and Fischetti had to help Cronin get dressed before shows and occasionally carry him to the stage, they told the magazine it was more of an honor than an annoyance. “He was so happy,” Fischetti said in 2010. “We really became soulmates. Devin and I both realized how much we loved him, despite the differences we had in the past.”

At the time of Cronin’s death, the boyband community came together to celebrate his life. Chris Kirkpatrick of ‘NSYNC changed his Facebook profile to show the message “RIP to a great friend Rich C,” and his bandmate Lance Bass also tweeted, “Sad sad day that Rich Cronin died – was an amazing guy.”