Support and Well Wishes for Dustin Wenmann

It is always devastating news when there is a diagnosis of cancer – particularly so in the case of a young person. Dustin Wenmann, a former resident of Wawa (parents Duane and Mary Ellen) has been diagnosed with a large cancerous tumour in his thigh. Dustin has completed one round of chemotherapy in Toronto and yesterday started the second round, travelling back and forth for medical appointments, and facing an extended stay in Toronto for surgery to remove the tumor. There are yet many unanswered questions, and there are the daunting costs for not only himself, but his family and friends to be there to support and care for his needs during this journey of healing.

To help relieve Dustin and his family from the financial worries a gofundme has been launched by his friend, and as she says, “he is my third sibling” Mackenzie Moore, and Dustin’s mother, Mary Ellen. As of this morning, $8,540 has been raised of the $20,000 goal.

Mackenzie says, “with his permission (Dustin), I have created a go-fund me to raise funds for Dustin to use however he needs. Dustin has been off work since November of 2023, and has many challenges and a long year ahead of him. Thankfully, Dustin has the endless support of his parents, May Ellen and Duane, who will be chauffeuring, cheerleading, caring and fighting for him during his time of need. I hope that with your help we can ease some of the financial burden that he will face. I also know that Dustin is feeling a bit nostalgic, and would appreciate a funny story/memory or well wishes in the comments. I’ve attached Dustin’s journey so far, as told by his wonderful mom, Mary Ellen, below:”

In February 2023, Dustin’s dog Riddick jumped on his thigh while riding in the jeep. From that moment on, Dustin had a sore leg. He had a hard time walking, sleeping or putting a full shift in at work without pain. We assumed it was a muscle knot where Riddick jumped on him and Dustin would take Tylenol, Aleeve, apply heat and try various creams and rubs, anything to get it to feel better.
In June he went to the doctor as his knee was starting to give him pain. Dustin had an x-ray and was given some naproxen and told everything was ok. He would come home from work some days experiencing unbearable pain. My heart would just break for him. Dustin went to a physio therapist who gave him gave him exercises—he had no relief, and the pain moved into his hip and thigh. He thought that this new pain was from the physio exercises and so he went to a chiropractor. Adjustments only provided him temporary relief.
On November 21st, 2023, Dustin was scheduled for dry needling, feeling like it was a last resort. When he was called into his appointment, the provider examined Dustin, and advised he would not touch him and to go to emergency right away. The provider saved Dustin’s life.
November 21st, 2023 is the day that we will never forget. Dustin was in tremendous pain, and he and I waited almost 12 hours in emergency. He finally had an ultrasound and waited for results. We were told that there was a mass in Dustin’s thigh and he needed an MRI, which was done two days later. While waiting for results, Dustin had to return to Emergency because he was in so much pain, where he waited another 12 hours for care. While there, the emergency department doctor told us that Dustin has cancer – a tumour in his thigh.
Our world fell apart.
Since that day, Dustin has been referred to an orthopedic doctor in Sault Ste Marie who was able to fill in the gaps. Dustin’s tumour is large, and in a dangerous spot. He has also been referred to a doctor in Toronto, and has had a biopsy done to determine what kind of cancer it is and how best to treat it. He is being closely followed by a team of specialists. Dustin has begun chemotherapy at Sault Area Hospital, and there have already been some trips to Toronto and Sudbury. There will be many more trips, including long stays in Toronto for care. We are very grateful for the doctors we have dealt with so far. It has been an emotional journey, and they have all been so kind and supportive.
I am in awe of Dustin. In the past year, he has continued working despite his pain. There were days that he would walk and his leg would give out and cause him to fall. He always picked himself back up and continued working. Dustin has had to be off work since the end of November 2023.
Every day, we thank God that we found the tumour, and even thank God that Riddick jumped on his leg to get his attention. We thank God for the high and low days as it means we are still ok to fight this. We thank God for all our family and friends for their kind messages, food, phone calls and visits. We are so loved and supported. It’s going to be a journey but we have God, faith and all our family and friends and we will be ok.

Love to all
Dustin, Mary Ellen, and Duane

If you would like to donate to support Dustin, and his family, click the link to go to the gofundme page: 
Wawa-news readers can also comment on the article below to offer words of support for Dustin and his family.


  1. Just to let all of you know that Bob and I are thinking of all of you and praying that the Lord will restore Dustin to full health. Our hearts are heavy for you, but also optimistic that things will work out well sooner rather than later. May God be with you to bring you hope and comfort.

  2. It doesn’t seem it was all that many years ago that our boys were running around the streets of Wawa with all the other rascals throughout the 90s and 2000s. Playing at the beach, the schoolyard, and swings of Queens Park. Whereever they were, we knew they were safe because we all looked after each other and kept a close eye on each others kids. The residents of Wawa were our extended family. A caring community, then and now. It is truly humbling and heartwarming to see the outpouring of love and generosity from all those friends even after being absent for over 10 years. On behalf of Mary Ellen, Dustin , his brothers (Adam and Tyler) and the rest of the Wenmann family, we are so grateful for your prayers and well wishes. We have a long road ahead and know you are with us every step of the way. A simple thank you seems so inappropriate and doesn’t begin to describe what we feel we need to say. You are all amazing. God bless.