It’s hard to imagine someone more courageous than Steven Adams. After losing six-year-old daughter Morgan to a brain tumor in 1998, Steven and his tireless wife, Joan Slaughter, pulled together a group of artist friends to host an art auction benefitting Children’s Hospital Colorado. Since then, the Morgan Adams Foundation has raised more than $2.5 million for pediatric cancer research.

So it was a crushingly cruel blow when we learned that Steven, who was 5280’s original staff photographer, was himself diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2011. Not surprisingly, he battled the disease with conviction, still advancing the foundation’s work, until just a few weeks before his death in September at the age of 51.

Our hearts go out to Joan and the couple’s children, Andrew and Grace.