From John’s sister, Margot…
Last September, John was diagnosed with an exceptionally rare and aggressive cancer called SNUC, sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma. SNUC has no known causes and no defined treatments. My first of thousands of Google searches brought up, “SNUC is a rare malignancy with often dismal outcomes.” We were gutted, but John was ready for a fight. I was sitting in my car on September 1st, 2015 when he called to say, “I have cancer, but it’s going to be ok”.
John is everything that is good. He is 41 years old with an amazing wife (Trixie Cruz) and three incredible sons, Cole (12), Hunter (14) and Jack (16). He has an adoring group of friends and extended family. John’s life has been focused on sport and fitness. He attended Vancouver College for twelve years, and, just like our dad and now John’s sons, he was a proud member of the Fighting Irish basketball program. He played Varsity Basketball at UBC and went on to play professionally in the Philippines before returning to Vancouver to raise his family. John worked for Canada Post and coached kids with Split Second Basketball, both jobs he loved.
For the last several years, John has been running marathons. He runs them fast. His marathon PB is 3:09, his fastest half marathon was 1:26 and his fastest 10K was 36:58. Fast by most standards and really fast for a 6’4″ body not really built for long distance running. But he did it. With laser focus and many injuries along the way, he completed his runs. His last full marathon was the Boston Marathon the year of the bombing. Qualifying for Boston is a feat on its own, especially when you are both young and male. Then, because of demand, getting a spot is like winning the lottery. But he made it. We all headed to Boston to cheer him on in the world’s most famous marathon. He crossed the finish line almost an hour before the bombing. An emotional day for all. We went home feeling very fortunate and grateful.
John has been exceptional since the day he was born. He was born prematurely and wasn’t expected to make it. He achieved incredible success in sport and has always stood out from the crowd. He is the best brother, son, husband, dad, uncle, friend, teammate, and coach anyone could ever have. We have not lost hope but his cancer is aggressive and we can’t get in front of it.
Two weeks after John’s cancer diagnosis last September, he endured a twelve hour surgery at VGH to remove the golf-ball sized tumour from his nasal cavity. Aggressive radiation and chemotherapy followed that brought him to his knees. His body withstood the worst possible trauma while he quietly tolerated the pain and agony. “I’m okay”, he always responded when asked how he was doing. It took all winter but he slowly recovered from the brutal treatment. Spring arrived and John was able to take short walks. He even attempted to cut the lawn one morning, ignoring his severe grass allergy, and then suffering, what he thought, was a torn hamstring.
It wasn’t his hamstring. After a CT scan at VGH Emergency in April, we learned John’s cancer had spread through his blood to his pelvis. It is no longer curable and its aggressiveness means it’s moving fast.
We are doing everything we can to slow it, hold it, keep it down. The road ahead will be rough but John is mentally strong. He has a team of loved ones and doctors cheering him on. My sister-in law has called this John’s ultimate marathon. We don’t know where the finish line is but we will cherish every single step he has ahead. You can read Trixie’s blog about John’s battle here.
How you can help…
His family and friends want to reduce the stress on John and Trixie as they navigate the unknown. Both of them had the benefit of education and sport in their lives and we want to ensure their three sons have the same opportunities. We have created The Cruz-Dumont Boys’ Trust to support Cole, Hunter and Jack’s post-secondary education and their sport-related expenses.
Contributions at any level will be gratefully accepted via PayPal or cheque (“The Cruz-Dumont Boys’ Trust”). Thank you for understanding that this is not a registered charity, and we are not able to provide tax receipts. However you will receive a receipt from PayPal after your donation has been processed.
To Donate by Cheque : Please make your cheque payable to “The Cruz-Dumont Boys’ Trust” and mail to :
The Cruz-Dumont Boys’ Trust
#400-2309 W 41st Ave
Celebrating John and his love of basketball…
Under the direction of Gerald Cole (John’s best friend for the last 35 years) we are organizing a 3 on 3 basketball tournament at Vancouver College on August 20, 2016. This will be both a fundraiser and a way for those who love John to gather around his sport at the school that has meant so much. There will be many opportunities to participate including as an athlete, a sponsor, an in-kind supporter or as a volunteer. Thank you in advance for helping us make this a success. You can visit the tournament website here.
100% of funds raised for the Cruz-Dumont Boys’ Trust
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