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Jason Boutwell fundraiser at "The Venue"

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A Fargo father of four is learning what it is like to live in community that wraps itself around those hurting. 2 / 2

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A Fargo father of four is learning what it is like to live in community that wraps itself around those hurting.

Friends of 41-year old Jason Boutwell are throwing a huge fundraiser Saturday night at "The Venue."    

It all stems from an unusual cancer diagnosis, that came after an appendicitis attack that Jason thought was a pulled muscle.

Those who know Jason Boutwell, can tell you. He is known as the giver, the benefit organizer, so with just a day out from his big Team Boutwell fundraiser.

Jason Boutwell/ Father of Four: “I don't know why it is so hard but it is.”

Jason's cancer diagnosis came by way of a series of unpredictable circumstances. A trip he and his wife took with MARCO workers to Mexico, running, 4-wheeling, a pain in his side.

Boutwell: “Acute pain that I blamed on a pulled stomach muscle.”

Soon a high fever and the nagging abdomen pain, led him to his family doctor and the ER. And soon the operating room. His appendix.

Reporter: “So when they opened you, basically what did they find?”

Boutwell: “A big soupy mess, infection spread all over.”

But on the day he got his staples out, the surgeon came in the room.

Boutwell: “I gave him a high five and told him job well done and he said I have some bad news, and that is when he said I had cancer, I did not believe him.”

A thoughtful, positive person, Jason is a man of deep faith, and he is using a cancer diagnosis to affirm it.

Boutwell: “It’s interesting that I’m able to say this with a straight face, but I don’t know if I’d change it. I’m convinced that God gave me this platform for a reason and that to tell the story and spread the news about the importance of the faith walk, the importance of long term disability, short term disability, life insurance and just taking care of yourself.”

Jason and his wife Chastity have been honest with the four kids, but positive.

Boutwell: “The fact the appendix blew up, is a blessing from God. If not we would have a much different conversation.”

Jason gets chemo every other Monday and then on a chemo pump at home. That is till next fall.

The Wisconsin boy who came to play for the Bison years ago, says you couldn't get him to leave this town now.

Boutwell: “You know what, it’s really hard to accept God’s grace through other people. The mortality thing, the ‘gee what gonna happen to me if I don’t make it thing” there was a couple days of ‘woe is me’ there was a couple days of ‘what are my kids gonna do without me’ and that was the reason for the tears initially. The tears since day 8 or so have been related to - I have a hard time accepting kindness from others.”

The big benefit for Jason is set for Saturday night at The Venue.

It starts at 6:00.

A huge Silent and Live auction. As well as Live music.

You can also donate through Lend A Hand. For more information visit this website:

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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