Please consider making a donation to support Steve. Any amount (no matter how small) is greatly appreciated! In addition we have a limited number of TYY-01 Titanium Yo-Yos available as a donation reward! Thank you for sharing your love & support with Steve and his family.
Steve Buffel (age 43) was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in November 2015. Since then he’s undergone a long battle that’s consisted of daily radiation treatments & chemotherapy (while working) and an extensive surgery in May. Steve’s surgery went very well and he now continues his fight, but is struggling through the follow up chemotherapy. The doctors described post-surgical chemotherapy like this: “The surgeon pulled the weeds and now we’re going to spray the lawn to make sure none grow back”. With this protocol Steve’s prognosis is good and has an 80% chance of being cancer free for the rest of his life. That being said, living with the side effects of the chemo can feel are far worse than the cancer itself.
With the help of friends and family, Steve and Suzanne have done their best to help maintain a normal routine for their household and kids, but unfortunately it’s a becoming struggle. Steve has been off work since his surgery in May and his insurance coverage has been exhausted. Steve looks forward to going back to work as a design engineer soon as he can, but in the meanwhile he has to rely on his wife’s extra efforts to support their family.
Steve recently lost his father to brain cancer.
Up until his surgery, Steve enjoyed family life, his pursuit of the perfect pair of jeans and immersed himself in the craft of jean making… and titanium yoyo production! Steve also competed at the local BMX track with his kids. Steve is looking forward to getting back to these hobbies once his body heals and hands are free of nerve pain that’s caused by the chemotherapy. To follow Steve and his interests, here’s his Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/spyycanada/
A kind message from friend Ed Haponik:
“It is difficult to find a bad yo-yo these days. Pretty much every model seems to play pretty smooth, spin a long time, and respond consistently… 10 years ago this was NOT the case. Not only were performance metal yo-yo’s expensive; there were giant disparities in quality from one model to another and amazing variation in their features, right down to the basic structure of the response systems and bearing seats. It was during this time, when precision-crafted yo-yo’s were few and far between, that SPYY came into its own.
Steve Buffel is a true craftsman. And when he gets it in mind to pursue a project (whether a yo-yo, pair of jeans, or a skateboard for his kid), he goes at it with an obsessive drive to complete it as well as it can be done, with no allowance shortcuts or mediocrity. His yo-yo’s were touted as the smoothest out there from the very first protos released on eBay. And as the SPYY line grew in the mid 00’s (from the Radian to the Addict, Spyder, and Pistolero), the company became synonymous with this level of quality. Even when Steve made the somewhat agonizing decision to start selling discount rejects, the purchasers of his “STAR-grades” remarked that these seconds spun far truer than most companies’ A-grades.
When he decided to build a team, Steve did so as patiently and deliberately as he developed his yo-yo line. Jon Rob, Guy Wright, Nate Sutter, Alexis JV, Sebastian Brock, Joey Fleshman, myself… The players he picked were out of the box and all over the map. It seemed like the only thing we had in common was having nothing in common, and yet it was more a “team” than any I’d seen. Being generous to a fault, Steve would send me tons of yo-yo’s, even though he knew I wasn’t interested in competition. And when I tentatively approached him about wanting to dedicate a year to playing fixed axle, he didn’t just give me his blessing – he gave me the tool for the job in the form of the sweetest wood yo-yo ever.
In time, SPYY folded, partly under the weight of the high expectations Steve maintained for himself. When he emerged last year to drop a titanium bomb on the community, everybody seemed thrilled, both at the prospect of the yo-yo and for SPYY to be back on the scene at all. The TYY-01 proved to be everything I’d hoped for: a modern competition-friendly profile, a 4mm gap giving tight winds and great regens, and smoothness worthy of the SPYY brand. Unfortunately, it dropped just as the market was at its most Ti-saturated, and for reasons I don’t understand, they remain available.
As most reading this will already know, Steve has been battling colorectal cancer for the past year. He has fought like hell through surgeries and several grueling rounds of chemotherapy. Being one of the most stoic people I know, he has never once complained about it to me. But I know it wears on him not having the energy to chase his kids all over creation on their BMX bikes or throw himself into his various crafts.
Steve has been a great friend for a long time. He is a true family-man, one of the most giving people I know, and he has had a legitimate and positive impact upon modern yo-yo’s and upon our little community. He has had a rough run lately, to say the least, and it would be amazing if our community could show him that we’ve got his back as he continues to recover. This is an opportunity to support a guy who, like so many of us, has thrown much of himself into this strange little passion (and to earn some pretty slick rewards while you’re at it). This is not the kind of thing he would ask for, so it falls to his friends to do so on his behalf. I hope you’ll join me in throwing some support to one of the best among us.”
Please join us for showing love and support to an amazing friend and a person who has been a true ‘force of good’ in our yo-yo community!
All donations are greatly appreciated and welcome. Donate $185 and receive a SPYY TYY-01 yo-yo!