By Natalie Ramsay, Comox Valley Kickers
James Dubois, a current player with the Comox Valley Kickers RFC, has defied all odds.
In 2020, James was diagnosed with cancer in his spleen which he subsequently had removed. A spleen will usually weigh less than a pound, but James’ spleen was so enlarged that it weighed approximately 7 pounds when removed through surgery.
Not long after his spleen was removed, he found out that the cancer was very aggressive and was attacking his other organs, namely his kidneys and his heart. The heart is made of connective tissue and muscle cells that do not turn over very fast which is why heart cancer is extremely rare with an incidence rate of 0.002%.
James did several rounds of chemotherapy. His body reacted well to the treatment, and he was in remission.
One year ago, James was once again in a hospital bed at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, now in a cancer coma with a brain tumour that was attempting to spread. He was on death’s doorstep.
With a strong will, he began chemotherapy again and eventually had a stem cell transplant in June of 2022.
Back to the Pitch With Help From Teammates
On Saturday, January 28, 2023, everyone at Cumberland Village Park witnessed something special. James – now 53 years old – stepped on the Rugby pitch and played his first game of Rugby after having beaten cancer twice. Low and behold, as he wore the black and maroon for the Comox Valley Kickers, he played against Richmond RFC, the Club from his hometown that he had previously played 20 years with.
It was a beautiful day for Rugby and the camaraderie shown from both teams was a sight to be seen.
We are so thankful for James’ recovery and the strength he showed throughput his journey. We can’t wait to see him in action this season!
ABOUT COMOX VALLEY KICKERS
The Comox Valley Kickers remains one of the oldest Rugby Clubs in British Columbia. John Baird, representing the Comox Valley Kickers, attended the inaugural meeting of the British Columbia Rugby Union when it formed in New Westminster on October 4, 1889. The Comox Valley Kickers likely began in early 1889 made up primarily of British miners working in the nearby Cumberland coal mines.
With three teams, Men’s, Women’s and Juniors, as well as a Mini Rugby Program, the Comox Valley Kickers Rugby Club continues to evolve as one of British Columbia’s, and the Comox Valley’s, longest serving sports clubs.
The Club invites all those who are interested in playing rugby to attend training sessions held at Cumberland Village Park. For more information and registration details, visit Comox Valley Kickers’ Website here.