Wednesday, June 4, 2008

ECU tennis coach talks about her battle with cancer

The best and worst of times

Jeff Cali Sports Editor

It’s not often someone can have the best and worst year of their life at the same time, but that’s exactly what happened to veteran East Central University tennis coach Charlie Hibbard.

During Friday night’s Relay for Life, Hibbard shared her story of how she whipped cancer — and whipped nearly every one of her opponents during the spring of 2007 — to the large crowd gathered at ECU’s Norris Field.

Hibbard first noticed “the lump” on a Texas tennis trip in October 2006. About a month later, her fears were confirmed and finally, during a pre-Christmas meeting with her team, she told her players that she didn’t even know if she would be able to coach them during the upcoming busy spring schedule. By then, her chemotherapy and radiation treatments had been scheduled and would run through the end of May — and through the entire 2007 tennis schedule.

In a touching show of support, most of her men’s tennis team showed up to spring practices with heads that matched their coach — bald. On media day, Hibbard and the Tigers took their team photo sporting orange bandanas.

Link to Ada Evening News for rest of story

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