Steven Dulin’s Defeat of Cancer

Categories: General News Tags: Newsletter

The journey to an engineering degree is never easy, but for Civil and Environmental Engineering student Steven Dulin the effort of earning a degree seems easy compared to the fight for his life. For the past seven years, Dulin has battled cancer through seven major surgeries and 22 months of chemotherapy, and has been victorious.

Now a UNC Charlotte junior, Dulin is from Hickory, North Carolina. He was diagnosed with the bone cancer osteosarcoma in 2007 when he was 17. The cancer at that time was at the top of his femur. He had his first surgery to remove it, and began his first round of chemotherapy.

When he was 18, physicians detected cancer in his lungs. Another surgery and round of treatments began. Over the next five years, cancer would come back three times, again in his lungs and also in a kidney. All during this time he was going through treatments and surgeries, including an eventual total hip replacement.

“I had seven very major surgeries and 22 months of chemo over three sessions,” Dulin said. “It was pretty rough. I couldn’t go to school during that time.”

The support of family and friends were everything to Dulin during his battle with cancer. “They were there for me all the times I had to try again and try again,” he said. “My two brothers were very supportive. And I have had a number of friends with me through all the stages.

“My parents were incredible and also really supportive in terms of my long college career. It has taken me a long time to get to this point. They have been very patient and understanding.”

As a civil engineering student, Dulin’s interests are structures and geotechnical engineering. “I like the idea of being part of building things we use every day,” he said. “Things that people may take for granted, but things that are important in everyday life.”

Dulin has greatly enjoyed his years at UNC Charlotte. “I’ve made some really good friends here,” he said. “I’ve been very involved in Habitat for Humanity on campus and made a lot of friends through that. I love the school. The interaction between students, and with teachers, is great here.”

In his battle with cancer, Dulin has now gone two years with no signs of the disease.

“I feel great now. My hip still limits me, I can’t run or jump, but overall I’m doing really well. Graduating next year is going to be bitter sweet. I’ve enjoyed my time here so much that I’m going to miss it, but I’m looking forward to the next stage of my life.”