In 2012, following the example of many good Aggies before him, Nick Bourgeois invited Dominique Robles on a date to the Dixie Chicken.
The pair, who worked together at the College Station Olive Garden while students at Texas A&M, quickly realized they could cut a rug.
“We both loved two-stepping,” Nick said. “Big [Hurricane] Harry’s people, but we would make a dance floor anywhere.”
They danced through Aggieland until graduation in 2014. Two years later, they sawed varsity’s horns off at their wedding in her hometown of Buda.
On March 12 of this year, baby Liam was born in Dallas, and they planned to bring their son to his first Aggie football game this fall.
Seven days after Liam was born, Dominique died.
On June 19, the Dallas-based Do It For Durrett Foundation hopes to ease the burden created by the unexpected loss of a parent by presenting the Bourgeois family with a $50,000 check, with the help of anyone wishing to give.
Dominique fought breast cancer through the beginning of 2017. She underwent surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation at MD Anderson in Houston and was declared cancer-free in June 2017.
Despite low odds from the rigors Dominique’s body experienced during cancer treatment, the couple was able to start a family. Nick called it a “miracle.”
In her 36th week of pregnancy, Dominique experienced health complications, including difficulty breathing. A trip to the emergency room revealed that cancer had spread throughout several of Dominique's organs, including her lungs. Forty-five minutes after learning this news, Liam was born via emergency C-section.
“Baby came out fine,” Nick said. “He’s totally healthy. Me and her, we never got to leave the hospital.”
On March 19, a week after Liam's birth, Dominique died at the age of 28.
"She was a fighter who touched the lives of everyone she met," her obituary said.
Dominique had used her degree in education to make an impact on the students of the Richardson Independent School District at Prairie Creek Elementary and Brentfield Elementary. According to her obituary, she was honored with the Kindness Award and the Courage and Bravery Award.
“She was just an incredible teacher. Really well loved at the school and a couple of other schools,” Nick said.
ESPN 103.3 radio personality Mike Peasley, who has children that attended Dominique's school, alerted the Do It For Durrett Foundation of the family's story.
Since 2014, the foundation has provided financial support for working-class families that have experienced sudden loss, beginning with the family of the foundation’s namesake, Richard Durrett.
At the age of 38, Durrett, a Dallas-area sportswriter and radio personality, unexpectedly died, leaving behind his then-pregnant wife and two young children. He was a beloved member of the media corps for the Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars and Dallas-Fort Worth college football teams, working for ESPNDallas.com and the Dallas Morning News. He was also my mentor and friend.
Since that first Do It For Durrett event in 2014, the foundation has raised more than $1 million and helped more than 100 families, thanks to an annual event and auction at Globe Life Park during a Rangers game.
The check for $50,000 from the foundation comes from funds raised by live and silent auctions. My hope is the Aggie Network will also make a journey to the game to support a family of good Ags.
A limited number of VIP tickets remain for the event ($115 until May 10, then $125 after). A VIP ticket includes game admission, a reserved seat in the air-conditioned Globe Life Park Hyundai Club, dinner, an event T-shirt and open bar. Throughout the game, special guests will make appearances in the club, which in the past has included Dallas-area media personalities and former Ranger greats. The live auction will be open to those with event tickets. Doors open at 6 p.m. for a 6:30 event start time. The Rangers’ game against the Cleveland Indians begins at 7:05.
Those who just wish to buy a game ticket can support the cause through the silent auction, which will be set up in the center field concourse behind the Hyundai Club, or through the Texas 2 Split 50/50 raffle. There will be Texas A&M items available for bidding.
As a proud member of the Do It For Durrett family, I will be in Arlington on June 19 selling raffle tickets and working silent auction tables to support the foundation, and to honor Richard. A&M graduates have their hands all over the foundation, from co-founder Anthony Andro ('92) to local auctioneer Bret Richards ('01).
"It’s been a blessing working with Do It For Durrett for the last five years and see what they’ve done for families," Richards said.
Nick told the foundation that in his miracle child, he will always have “a little slice” of Dominique. Nick and Liam will still make that trip to College Station this fall, where Liam’s story began.
“We’ve been back every season for at least a football game,” Nick said. “We were excited to bring our baby boy back this fall for his first game, too. Still planning on doing that.”