Former The Edge host Michael Kooge dies after long battle with brain cancer

Former The Edge host Michael Kooge has died after long battle with brain cancer.
Michael Kooge. Photo credit: Facebook

Former MediaWorks radio personality Michael Kooge has died after years of battling brain cancer.

His mother Gaylene said he was taken to a hospice last week when his condition rapidly deteriorated and today it was confirmed the 36-year-old had passed away.

"It is with deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of our beloved Mike who passed away peacefully early hours this morning surrounded by love," a post on his public Facebook page reads.

"You fought a good fight, you ran a good race. Dad is waiting for you in heaven with open arms. May God bless you our darling, we will always love you."

Kooge - who was known as the voice of The Edge radio station and also worked at Newshub during his career - was initially diagnosed with stage three melanoma in 2012.

In 2017, just as he was about to reach his five-year remission milestone, Kooge was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer that has an average survival time of 12 to 18 months. 

"'With great sadness' is an understatement for how our Edge whānau is feeling right now," reads a post on the radio station's Facebook page

"We're so incredibly proud of how hard he fought and feel so lucky that he was part of our family.

"He was fun, kind, generous, loved the banter and a goss, had a sexy voice, a great friend and one hell of a sassy B that made coming to work fun. We're gonna bloody miss him."

Only 25 percent of glioblastoma patients survive more than one year, but last month Kooge celebrated hitting the three year mark by thanking fans, followers, family and friends for their support. 

"Thank you to each and every one of you for doing your little bit in your own little way, and I hope that my crazy experience has inspired you in some way in your lives to overcome the worst, achieve your goals, hug your loved ones a little tighter or just give you a simple appreciation of the little things in life," he wrote on Facebook at the time. 

Kooge's battle included several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, along with Avastin, a cancer drug that is not funded by Pharmac and can cost tens of thousands of dollars. The broadcaster and digital content creator frequently used social media to call for drugs like Avastin to be funded and also shared how medicinal cannabis had helped with his pain. 

Rest in peace, Michael Kooge.
Michael Kooge. Photo credit: MediaWorks

Kooge's death comes just eight months after the death of this father John, who also died of cancer.

In a video shared with friends last week, Kooge revealed another tumour had been discovered in his brain and that he didn't have long to live.

"I've always just wanted to leave peacefully, so that's what I've chosen to do," he said in tears, explaining that this time there were no treatment options available.

He likened his life to a movie and thanked his friends for playing their part.

"Big or small, you've played a really great part and I thank you for that. Just like a movie you've been a great character."

In a message on her Facebook page, Kooge's mother said "he's going home to his dad". 

A Givealittle page has been set up to raise funds for the funeral.