July 16, 1978 - August 12, 2012

July 16, 1978 - August 12, 2012

Dominic Daniel Fouts (aka Nick) was a brother, husband, son, uncle, teacher, athlete, comedian, outdoor adventureman, thought provoker, truth seeker, competitor, the ultimate loyal friend and a possessor of a bevy of other beautiful qualties too many to name here. He was delivered the devastating diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer on July 4, 2009, just 12 days before his 31st birthday. Stoic throughout his 3 year battle, Nick continued to teach middle school science, snowboard, surf, and travel as much as he could between the surgeries and treatments that left him ill. He unexpectedly lost his battle on August 12, 2012, though he never stopped fighting! 

“Nick was my first teacher and best friend. He was my big brother. Growing up together was more than I could ever dream up… as for the protective, challenging, adventurous, and silly brother-sister relationship that we had. He inspired me in life and continues to inspire me now. His generosity of spirit was truly unsurpassed!”

Suzanne Krueger, Executive Director, Founding Board Member

Dominic embodied one of my closest and longest friendships. He stood next to me at many of the most significant events and milestones in my life, from the first day of middle school to being the best man at my wedding. Although we had very different personalities and our passions ran to different areas, we maintained a close friendship over the years and distance. I always looked to him for his wit, his easy confidence, and his unerring ability to bring humor to any situation. He showed great strength of will and body as he faced and fought cancer, and refused to let it keep him from his passions. He loved to teach and was loved for his teaching. His memory lives on through the way he affected the people around him in his life. He was a fine man… one of the best, and I will miss him always
— Adam Haynes, Founding Board Member
I met Nick when we roomed together our sophomore year in college. As if we had known each other our entire lives, we quickly fell into a great roommate routine that lasted the remaining years at the University of San Diego. Our friendship grew as well. He was always trying to drag me on his surf adventures with him even though it mostly involved me sitting on my board watching him catch great waves. One vivid image I’ll remember is the huge smile on his face after he caught a great wave and turned around trying to share his joy with me, wanting me to experience it too. It was also the same smile he had on the rare occasion I actually caught a wave.

Nick was an unbelievable friend who always looked for adventure and wanted you to enjoy
it with him. That’s why it was such a crushing blow when we learned of his horrific disease. He was forced to endure countless hours of chemotherapy and radiation but the treatments wouldn’t stop him or change who he was. We recently had a roommate reunion in San Francisco and even though Nick had just finished a round of chemotherapy, he showed up ready to rock. On the first night, as we were heading out to dinner, Nick noticed the tree outside the apartment where we were staying. “Looks like a great climbing tree,” he noted. Mat, Garrett and I laughed and agreed but didn’t think much of it. Before we knew it, Nick had jumped up the first branch and disappeared up the tree. All we saw were shaking tree limbs and falling leaves. Pretty soon he called for us to cross the street and look for him. There he was, with his head popping out of the top of this perfectly manicured 35-foot tree, waving with a huge smile on his face.

Nick never revealed how bad his disease was but I could tell things weren’t good near the end. He mentioned his difficulty with maintaining his weight and comfort. While this brutal disease couldn’t touch his spirit and sense of humor, it had beaten his body, previously so strong and energetic. That is why I am proud to be a part of this foundation and look forward to helping in any way to better our efforts against cancer.
— Ryan Johnson, Founding Board Member
During the summer of 2001, Nick and I met in football camp at the University of San Diego. An instant friendship was built upon our mutual love of sports, surfing and the realization that by chance we would be roommates when school started. Nick’s zest for life, energy and care free nature were traits that I always admired, but his belief that things would always work out (and usually did) still amazes me. There is no question that Nick understood and accepted the worst in his battle with cancer, but he never wanted others to feel sorry for him or dwell on his reality. He firmly believed that he was winning his battle and another experimental procedure or hopefully cure was just around the corner. While at first glance, it appears that things may not have worked out this time, Nick experienced more in his 34 years than most will in a lifetime. His memory will be a constant reminder to live each day to fullest and his quest for a cure will be carried out by those that loved him!
— Garrett Patricio, Founding Board Member
Most people knew Nick as just that, but besides Nick he was also Dominic, Dom Diddy, Hardhat and finally Dom. Dom’s personality could be summed up by an enthusiasm for life that was truly infectious. Whether it be his late night bike riding antics, snowboarding in the back-country or channeling his inner Michael Jackson dance moves at weddings or randomly in the street. It is this “Dom Spirit” that I want to share with those who were not fortunate enough to call him amigo.
— Jevan Lautz, Founding Board Member
Dominic was my best friend. We were both Southern California transplants to Central Oregon. We did everything together. When Nick was throwing the ball [in high school football], I was dropping it. I passed the baton to him during track. He was point guard, I was keeping the bench warm.
Dominic was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, I remember that day well. It was July 4th and he’d just gotten off the train from Seattle, coming to stay with me for a week in Portland. We got to talking and he told me about some symptoms he was having. I talked him into going to the hospital that day. Ever since the fight was on.
When he passed away, just after turning 34 years old, Suzanne and five of his best friends, including myself decided to start the DFMCF to help others who are in the same fight of their lives.
— Joshua Keyes, Founding Board Member