The Dustin Lee James Foundation is dedicated to continuing Dustin’s legacy through supporting charitable organizations that held a special place in his heart, especially those leading the fight against Pancreatic Cancer.
A lasting legacy full of heart, tradition, and hope for the future.
Dustin Lee James had a personality that was larger than life. He was a husband, son, brother, and a new father. However, despite the joy he brought into the world, Dustin lost a hard-fought battle with Pancreatic Cancer in 2015 at the age of 34.
As a family, we realized that Dustin's story was one of many - too many. The James family decided to continue Dustin's fight against Pancreatic Cancer, while uplifting his name and memory in the process. Thus, the Dustin Lee James Foundation was born in 2017.
AGGIE RING SCHOLARSHIP
Dustin was an Aggie to his very core; his love and passion for Texas A&M University was legendary. In fact, Dustin knew he was an Aggie before the first grade. He worked tirelessly to achieve his dream and in 2007, he did just that. Dustin graduated with a degree in construction science from Texas A&M and, more importantly, he received his coveted Aggie Ring.
The Aggie Ring was Dustin’s link between Aggies of old and those of the future. This tradition dates back to 1889 and the design has remained unchanged since 1933. Its gold façade is the most visible symbol of the Aggie Network and it instantly connects Aggies across the globe. To put it simply, receiving the Aggie Ring is one of the greatest moments a student can experience while attending Texas A&M; a moment that we knew Dustin would have wanted to be a part of for generations to come.
Our foundation is currently working with The Association of Former Students to establish the Dustin Lee James ’07 Endowed Memorial Aggie Ring Scholarship. Once established, the scholarship will award a ring to either 1 or 2 Aggies each year. The number of rings distributed will likely depend on an applicant’s gender due to the difference in size between male and female rings.
To make this a reality, we have a lot of work ahead of us. An endowment requires a total of $25,000 raised over 5 years. Although steep, I know that the love and dedication we all carry for Dustin will help us accomplish this goal.
When you give to our foundation, a portion of your donation will go towards our Aggie Ring Endowment. You can donate via PayPal or by check.
You may be asking "What does BTHO stand for?" Well, it dates back to Dustin's time at Texas A&M. When an Aggie is faced with an adversary of any kind, you "Beat The Hell Outta" it. When Dustin received his diagnosis, our Aggie family rallied around him with our motto naturally becoming "Beat The Hell Outta Pancreatic Cancer."
The Annual BTHO Pancreatic Cancer BBQ
Every year, in the spring, the Dustin Lee James Foundation hosts the Annual BTHO Pancreatic Cancer BBQ. We sell BBQ plates, have live music to enjoy, and raffle off a whole lot of fun prizes! Over 200 people from the community come out and join in on the cause every year!
In 2015, the James family organized a small get together to help Dustin, his wife, and their newborn son with the overwhelming cost of medical care. Since Dustin loved delicious food and home town music, we combined both to create our first BTHO Pancreatic Cancer BBQ.
Our first BBQ was such a large success that it left a large impression on Dustin. He wanted to continue the event once he finished treatment so that he could donate the money back to other people facing pancreatic cancer. The James family made it their priority to honor Dustin's request and continue the Annual BTHO Pancreatic Cancer BBQ tradition.
ORGANIZATIONS WE SUPPORT
The Dustin Lee James Foundation is dedicated to supporting organizations leading the fight against pancreatic cancer. To date, our organization has given over $35,000 to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. We have chosen to support PANCAN because they are dedicated to fighting the world’s toughest cancer. They do that on all fronts: research, clinical initiatives, patient services, and advocacy. The James family is determined to do our part by wholeheartedly supporting them in this mission.
To learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, their mission and goals, please visit: https://www.pancan.org
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network hosts an event called Purple Stride, also known as the walk to end Pancreatic Cancer. The events are held all across the country with one occurring in Austin every year. Our team has consistently raised enough funds and awareness to be in the top 10 teams every year!
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network hosts an event called
PurpleLight, which is a gathering of survivors, family and friends who have felt the impact of Pancreatic Cancer. During the PurpleLight event, there will be a ceremony that includes a reading of names, honoring survivors and remembering those we've lost to Pancreatic Cancer.