The astonishing grace of Dustin Rhodes

Photo: by Paul Kuehnel, York Daily Record/Sunday News

Read his story by Teresa McMinn for the Daily Record/Sunday News, and whisper a prayer:

A few weeks ago, Dustin Rhodes was a healthy, happily married husband and father of a 9-month-old son.

Rhodes, a Dallastown native and salutatorian of his York Catholic High School 2002 graduating class, worked as an attorney for Florida’s First District Court of Appeal.

In his spare time, he trained to run a 50-mile race and volunteered to help others.

All of that changed in early December when he was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme – an aggressive, malignant brain tumor.

Now, Rhodes, 28, will undergo neurosurgery tomorrow at Duke University Hospital.

Doctors told them in a best-case scenario, the operation will remove a significant portion of the disease, and he’ll undergo chemo and radiation therapies.

After that, there’s a good chance the cancer will return.

Yet despite his grave diagnosis, Rhodes said he’s lucky.

“We’ve been very fortunate and blessed,” he said of himself, his wife, Rebecca, and baby, Michael, now living with Rhodes’ in-laws in York Township. His parents and brother will also be at the hospital for his surgery. “We’re very lucky we have family.”

Rhodes said religious faith helps him accept whatever his future holds.

“Each day is a blessing … God has given us one more day, at least,” he said.

“I’m not afraid of dying,” he said. “It’s God’s will, not my choice.”

Shortly before Christmas, Jim Rafferty — a priest who married Rhodes and his wife at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Dallastown — met with the couple at a chapel in Danville, Pa.

“I prayed out loud over Dustin,” said Rafferty, of Scranton.

“Dustin prayed out loud, too,” Rafferty said, describing Dustin Rhodes as having total acceptance of God’s control over his fate. “He was completely free. I was just astounded listening to him.”

Rafferty said he felt strengthened by the couple’s religious belief.

“They know very much that this is a life-threatening situation,” Rafferty said. “I was just incredibly moved .

Read the rest and find out how to support the Rhodes family at the link. 


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