(Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG) “Is your leg in heaven?
” That’s one of the many questions 6-year-old Elena has asked her father, Larry Duenas, 45.
He wasn’t going to the pros, but he returned to Southern California in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree and a slight pain in his left knee.
He went back to what he knew — football, specifically at St. As a former defensive linebacker, he coached the school team’s defense, but it was becoming increasingly difficult to stand on the practice field for hours on end. Francis High School football coach and Alhambra resident Larry Duenas lost his left leg as a result of cancer.
“I just hope something happens soon for me and my family, and maybe through this campaign and people hearing my story, somebody will give me a chance,” Duenas said.
“If they just gave me a chance, they have no idea what I could do.” Former St.
His leg was amputated to about mid-thigh to reduce the likelihood the cancer would ever return.
Almost nine years passed, and in that time, Duenas and his wife had three children — son Beau was born in 2010 and twin daughters Elena and Amelia a year later. He began the same regimen of treatment, but a major challenge this time was that Duenas and his wife separated in 2015, leaving him as the children’s primary caregiver.
After seeing the success of the Osseointegration Group of Australia, Duenas believed he was ready to do something he had been unwilling to do before — ask for help.He had surgery to remove a walnut-sized tumor, then chemotherapy and radiation, to kill off remnants and keep it from coming back.Duenas had heard the story of a young man who used to visualize his cancer as an asteroid from the eponymous video arcade game and destroying it, so he visualized it as a football play.As they were preparing to wed in 2005, the cancer returned a third time, and this time, amputation was the only option.So before the church date they had booked, the couple got married on the 50-yard-line at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena with the help of one of Duenas’ former football coaches.