UBCOB Ravens Win U18 Provincial Title; HSBC Hosts Indigenous Youth Workshop at Vancouver 7s; Barbara Mervin Makes News in NZ; From Hospital Bed to Rugby Pitch: The story of James Dubois
UBCOB Win U18 Title
The 2022 Age-Grade Club Season came to a close this weekend after the U18 Boys Final finished with UBCOB Ravens defeating Salish Sea Warriors 26-17.
Taking place at Langford’s Starlight Stadium on Saturday February 4, the U18 Boys Division saw an epic Championship crossover match between the Mainland’s UBCOB Ravens and the Island’s Salish Sea Warriors.
In what was a true nail-bitter, both teams played strong and maintained a close point differential throughout the match.
After two lead changes in the first 30 minutes of play, the Ravens were able to gain the advantage in the second half with a try early on.
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.
On Saturday, January 28th, 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.