Bowling success inspires Kenner teen through cancer struggle _lowres

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER—Alex Dupuy of Kenner has bowled three 300 perfect games and three 800 series in the past two years.

The bowling success just keeps on rolling for Alex Dupuy of Kenner, a junior at Holy Rosary High School in New Orleans who has bowled three perfect games of 300 and three series of 800 in the past two years.

Dupuy, 17, has been a natural at bowling since he got started in the sport at age 14, said his mother, Nancy Dupuy.

But something special happened in the roller-coaster month of February 2014, when he bowled an 811, including a perfect 300 game, just two weeks after being diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma on his tongue.

Then, in February 2015, he bowled an 813 series at AMF All Star Lanes in Kenner. It is believed to be the highest series in Louisiana High School Athletic Association history.

Between those first two 800 series, he had undergone cancer treatment at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston that included removal of 50 percent of his tongue, as well as lymph nodes from the left side of his neck. That was followed by six weeks of intense radiation before returning home for summer school classes to catch up on his work.

“The 800 series and the 300 game brought all the determination I needed to get out of the hospital bed and forge on,” Dupuy wrote in an email. “Radiation was hard, and I bowled when I could. When I bowled, it was as if I entered a different body and knew that I would get through the difficult radiation therapy as long as I could bowl.”

He also got a boost when Norm Duke, a member of the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame, took the time for an encouraging phone call during Dupuy’s fourth week of radiation treatment.

“His love and passion for bowling are what saw him through his cancer surgery and his radiation treatment,” his mother said. “On the good days, he bowled, and on the days that were difficult, he watched bowling videos, listened to his Country and Western music and, since he could not always eat due to radiation side effects, he watched cooking shows.”

“Bowling that 800 series and 300 game was God-given and a sign to me that I was not forgotten,” Dupuy wrote.

Since February, Dupuy has bowled an 800 series in May and perfect games in June and on Nov. 21. He practices several times a week and has been researching colleges with bowling teams.

Reflecting on his timely success, he says he is grateful to God for the talent he was given, to his parents for their support and dedication, and to his bowling coach, Betty Chien, not only for her advice but also for her personal attention during his cancer recovery.