Dion Hibdon is cautiously optimistic that the worst is over for his father, Guido.
Guido, one of the top all-time fishermen on the Bassmaster circuit, was diagnosed with colon cancer in May, and he went through grueling chemotherapy treatments from June through December.
He received good news recently when tests showed that he is now cancer-free, Dion said. But he lost an alarming amount of weight during the treatments.
“He weighed 289 pounds before this started,” said Dion, who, like his father, is a former Bassmaster Classic champion. “He got down to 142 pounds after the last round of chemo, and his doctors decided to put him in the hospital to get him hydrated and give him a kickstart.”
Dion said his 71-year-old dad has been in a Jefferson City, Mo., hospital for almost two weeks and he is showing slow progress. But the tight-knit family knows recovery won’t come overnight.
“It will be a slow road," Dion said. “We’re wanting everything to happen right away and see him get back to his same old self. But that’s not going to happen.
“He’ll need some rehab, and it will be a slow process. But we’re still thinking that he’ll beat this.
He’s a tough guy. Right now, he’s just as ornery as ever. “
The Hibdons, who live at Lake of the Ozarks, have long been recognized as one of the top father-son teams in professional fishing. Guido won the coveted Bassmaster Classic in 1988 and took Bassmaster Angler of the Year honors in 1990 and 1991. Dion won the Classic in 1997 and went on to take the championship in the FLW Forrest Wood Cup in 2001.
Dion has put his fishing career on hold until his dad recovers. Dion competed on the FLW circuit in recent years, but he plans to stay close to home this year.
“I might still do some fishing (in tournaments), but nothing more than couple hours from home,” he said. “I have to be there for dad and mom.”