BECKER, Minn. — There's something beautiful about a simple sunrise and being able to enjoy the present moments in life.
“Each day, we cherish, right? We don’t know what we have left. We’re never guaranteed tomorrow, so we should appreciate what we have given to us today," said Becker resident Scott Dose.
It's a simple, daily blessing the Dose family has learned to cherish over the last two years.
“It’s been a long, hard journey. There’s good in everything, regardless of how crappy this deck of cards has been dealt to us," said Kristi Dose.
Kristi and Scott Dose first started dating in 2013, but their journey started well before that as they both attended Sibley East High School in Arlington. Scott played on the Wolverines' 1994 State Champion baseball team, which was coached by Kristi's father, Don Sauter.
“So we’ve always kind of known each other. Her dad was my high school baseball coach and biology teacher. We ended up winning the state tournament in 1994, remember it like it was yesterday," said Scott.
Nearly two decades later, the two would eventually reconnect, and started dating, and in 2015 the mixed family of six moved to Becker. Kristi and Scott were married in 2017, settling into the Becker community as their kids progressed through school over the years.
The first bad hand of cards for the family was delivered on April 15, 2021.
“So back in 2021, it was my 39th birthday. So all through the night that night, I was up in the bathroom dry heaving. I took it upon myself to drive myself to the emergency room. Scott was working overnights at that point. Didn’t make it all the way to the emergency room, I had to stop about 10 minutes down the road and I had to call an ambulance to have me transported the rest of the way," said Kristi.
Kristi's unusual symptoms required more testing, which revealed an aggressive and rare form of cancer called neuroendocrine carcinoma.
“Wasn’t expecting the news that we got, they came back in after having a CT and said that they had found a golf ball-sized tumor inside my stomach. Wasn’t what I was expecting for my birthday present, turning 39 years old," said Kristi.
Due to the aggressive nature and tumor locations in Kristi's body, immediate surgery was needed.
“I had my entire stomach removed. My spleen was removed, and then the tail end of my pancreas, as well as 54 lymph nodes, and they tested positive for having cancer as well, so it’s in my lymphatic system, which is currently where I’m fighting. Now I have several areas in my abdomen, chest and neck area that are showing positive, so I am receiving treatment now at a local cancer center where I get monthly injections," said Kristi.
The Dose family has found strength in their faith these last two years. Beyond that, the Becker family has stepped up to the plate to support the family in more ways than one.
This spring, the Becker Education Association held an auction event to raise money for the Doses.
“Walking into that event, I was stunned and taken aback by the support," said Scott.
Families, friends and strangers came together to honor, support and inspire the family with their giving.
"I still cannot find the words. I was absolutely amazed walking in that door and seeing that room, I didn’t even know half of the people in that room there.”
Shortly after this event, Jason Baune and the Becker softball team stepped up to the plate. The team held a strikeout cancer game to honor the Doses, raising funds throughout the game and having Kristi toss out the first pitch.
The two events have raised over $50,000 for the Dose family, giving them a true dose of hope.
“There’re really no words, to how much we appreciate everything that everyone has done for us," said Kristi.
The support has helped the family to continue cherishing life's simple joys and blessings.
“I mean we’ve only been in the area for eight years, and to have the support from this community, that we’ve received, it’s absolutely breathtaking," said Scott.
“I think my biggest fight is my children. They’re young, they need me, they give me that extra motivation, that drive and need to keep going. Every morning I wake up and thank God for one more day here," said Kristi.
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