“Hello, my name is Dustin Fontenot, and I am a true country boy. I love anything outside- hunting, fishing, welding, working with my animals and working on cars.
On January 15th, just one day after my 15th birthday I received a gift no one wants for their birthday, and that was a cancer diagnosis. Saturday, January 14th, 2017 was just a normal day, it began with me showing my heifer at our local progress show. Followed with an evening spent with friends and family, including chasing chickens around the yard. Sunday evening my mom took me to the ER at TCH where within a few hours I was diagnosed with cancer. We would soon find out it was non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, complete with a collapsed lung and chest cavity full of fluid. I was admitted to the ICU and immediately began treatment. It was a rough 11 days. Upon being stabilized I was permitted to go home.
The next week I had a port placed to make treatment easier. A week after it was placed, I was diagnosed with a blood clot from my elbow to my collar bone. They had to remove that port and place a new one on the opposite side and then remove the blood clot. Because of my susceptibility to blood clots I would now have to take shots 2X a day until my port was removed. I received chemo for 2 and ½ years including more than 30 spinal taps and I SURVIVED!
Becoming part of Hunt for Heart has meant the world to me. What started out as an opportunity to do something I had not been able to do for some time (I could not shoot because of the chance of blood clots). Ended up giving me soooo much more…FRIENDSHIPS! With being out of school half of my freshman year and my entire sophomore year and many absences my junior year, true friendships were few. Nobody quite understood what it was like to be different and have some limitations. The friends I met at Hunt for Heart have truly become family.” -Dustin Fontenot