Gene Bonvillain’s family and friends are doing an annual benefit fishing rodeo in honor of Gene Paul Bonvillain Sr. Gene started feeling bad in mid September of 2011. He put it off as being an upper respiratory infection which he was diagnosed with. The following week he went to the doctor because he wasn’t getting better. He was admitted into the hospital because his heart was in a-fib. The hospital ran tests and could not find anything wrong. This went on for the next 5-6 weeks. On Sunday, November 6, 2011, he went back to the emergency room due to having difficulty breathing. From there he was admitted to Oschner’s Hospital. There he was told that the lining around his heart had thickened and needed to be removed. They told him that would fix the problem. So he had the surgery on Wednesday, November 9, 2011. He did fine until the evening of Friday, November 11, 2011. He started having a problem breathing and asked to be put on the ventilator to help him breathe better. Several hours later we get a phone call to get to the hospital as soon as we can. When we got there; he had already coded. He ended up coding a total of 5 times. The doctors told us that we had to make a decision. So we decided to take him off the machines and leave him in peace. During that horrible time we were told that the biopsy results from his surgery were in. We were told that the results were that the lining removed was cancerous but didn’t know what kind. As a family, we decided that we wanted an autopsy done to see what went wrong. Gene was in excellent shape. He went to work the Friday before going back to the hospital on Nov. 6. Two months after he passed, we got the results of the autopsy. It read that he passed away from pericardial mesothelioma. If it weren’t for the autopsy, they would have put the cause of death as heart failure. There was nothing wrong with his heart. Gene was full of life. He always had a smile on his face and would do anything for anybody. He was a public official here in Terrebonne Parish for 40 years. Many loved him!
Gene’s family and friends decided to do something to raise money to go to a research fund for pericardial mesothelioma cancer, which Gene had. The cancer he had is caused by asbestos. The type he had is the rarest and only affects about 1% of the people that are diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer.
Money collected will go to research and awareness of this cancer and to help local families dealing with cancer.
Any help that we can get would be greatly appreciated. All proceeds will go to The Gene Bonvillain Pericardial Mesothelioma Research Fund.
The research fund has an account set up at South Louisiana Bank under “The Gene Bonvillain Pericardial Research Fund”. All checks can be made out to The GB Meso Fund.
The Gene Bonvillain Pericardial Mesothelioma Research Fund is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.