Team, Staff Rally Around Dillon Football Coach with Cancer - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Team, Staff Rally Around Dillon Football Coach with Cancer

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The Dillon Beavers High School football team will be playing in the state championship game on Saturday in Billings.

While the squad of course wants to call themselves state champs, they also want to win one for their coach, who right now is going through the battle for his life.

For the first eight weeks of the high school football season, Coach Steve Vezina served as the Beaverhead County High School Offensive Coordinator. Coach likes to say that calling the plays for his alma mater was like finally owning the keys to a Cadillac.

But at the end of October, Coach Vezina's life changed. After his brother was diagnosed with prostate cancer Coach Vezina's family forced him to get a check up.

"The guy came back in and said that you have a tumor in your colon. He said that he has seen a lot of them, thousands of them, and this one didn't look good to him," said Coach Vezina.

Coach Vezina was diagnosed with prostate and colon cancer that has now spread to his liver. His cancer is terminal. Without treatment, doctors said he would live up to a year at the most. With the help, it's an unknown timetable.

"I'm not afraid to die. It's a part of living," said Vezina. "I maybe don't want to go now. Of course, I don't have to now. I'll just see, and fight as hard as I can."

Despite going through chemotherapy for the last month, Vezina is back to doing something he loves. He's back on the gridiron, coaching his team.

"Having him out there really brightens your day," said Mike Paffhausen, a senior receiver. "It makes practice go by a little easier. Not just practice, but school in general. He means a lot to us and the whole community."

"They see him and they understand what it means to fight and be tough," said Rick Nordahl, a head coach. "You got to carry on, and you got to go out and do your best."

There's been an outpouring of support for coach from the community. $25,000 has been raised already for coach and his family through this website. While coach battles through life on and off the field, he goes through it with hope.

"You just never know. There's a miracle out there somewhere," added the coach.

Dillon will play in the state title game on Saturday afternoon in Billings. Coach Vezina will be at the game.

To learn how you can donate to coach and his family, click here.

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