Published in the Houston Chronicle 5:32 PM 7/10/1998

Beating Adversity

Deer Park man inspires others through actions



Other than a broken neck, a bout with cancer and triple-bypass surgery, Dan Dumoit is a pretty normal 67-year-old.

Well, maybe not.

Other than having no saliva glands, wearing a teeth retainer every night and working 10 hours every day, Dumoit is like any other senior citizen.

Well, maybe not.

OK, for the last time, other than being able to squat thrust 315 pounds, bench press 200 pounds and dead lift 350 pounds, Dumoit is just your average grandfather.

"I don't know if there is anything typical about me," said the father of three and grandfather of 10. "But that is the way I like it. Otherwise, life would be pretty boring." 

After having surgery for a broken neck in 1980, Dumoit, a Deer Park resident, developed carcinoma in his neck, upper arm and shoulder "about eight years ago." He went through several radiation treatments and surgery before finally being given a clean bill of health.

"I nearly died two or three times," Dumoit said.

A year-and-a-half later, Dumoit was on the operating table again. This time, it was for his heart.

"I had triple-bypass surgery," he said. "That was a piece of cake."

Now, he is a living inspiration to others.

"I want people to know that when they have some problems, they don't have to give in to them," he said. "I have always liked to face challenges head on. When I found out there was a way to overcome them, I would dig in any way I could. When I noticed that was touching people's lives around me, that motivated me."

Dumoit, who started lifting weights some 20 years ago, recently won the U.S. Powerlifting Federation National Masters Championships in Austin and the Southwestern Championships in Seguin.

He now hopes to participate in the world meet later this summer.

"If I train hard and stay healthy, I know I can do well in it," Dumoit said.

Dumoit said he gets up every day at 3:30 a.m. He said he eats breakfast, reads, then goes to work for Amoco Chemical for an average of 10 hours per day.

"I don't have a degree, but I have 43 years of experience," he said. "I am a project coordinator."

He works out in the weightroom from 5-8 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with friend and fellow competitor Tom McCullough, who is one of the football coaches at North Shore High School.

"Tom has been a great inspiration to me," Dumoit said.

So is his daughter, Bambi. Dumoit and his wife of 19 years, Carolyn, adopted Bambi, who suffers from Downs Syndrome.

"She is so bubbly and precious," Dumoit said. "She is such a blessing to us. It is truly the best thing we have ever done."

Dumoit said he thought about retiring, but is enjoying work too much to quit.

"This really gives me a chance to witness to other people," he said. "And that's what it's all about. If you can talk to to other people who are having problems, and share your faith with them, that is worth getting up every day and going to work."

Dumoit, who is 5-foot-9 and weighs 181 pounds, said he is taking vitamin supplements to try and put on weight.

"I don't have any saliva glands so I can't really taste food," he said. "But I want to get up to 198 pounds. I think the vitamins will help me put on a little bulk. I don't believe in steroids."

Dumoit said he used to be the weightlifting coach at Faith Christian Academy in Pasadena until the school split a couple years ago.

"We used to take a bunch of them to Oral Roberts University every year for competition," he said. "The boys I trained won 14 national championships. There were schools there way larger than we were, but we had the heart. Our motto was you can do all things through Christ."

Dumoit, who was born and raised in Houston, played football and basketball and swam and ran track until he joined the Army at the age of 17.

"My father passed away when I was young," he said. "I wasn't able to do much. I had to join the Army."

Dumoit now has two sons, Daniel Ray and Mark, and 10 grandchildren. He said his grandchildren think grandpa is "pretty cool."

"I think they kind of like the fact that I lift weights," he said. "That makes me feel pretty good."

He said Carolyn has been his crutch for many years.

"She has struck with me through thick and thin, just like the vows say," he added. "And with me, there has been a lot of them. She has really been a blessing to me."


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