Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tide gymnastics alumnae among honored cancer survivors

Among the 18 survivors reconized at the pink meet will be Allie Green Hayes and Ann Wilhide Dziadon from Sarah and David Patterson’s first recruiting class. Hayes was diagnosed in 1996, Dziadon was diagnosed in 2005.


Ann Wilhide Dziadon

Crimson White: What were your thoughts when you first heard Sarah and David were doing the “pink” meets?

Ann Wilhide Dziadon: When they first started doing it, I thought it was a great idea. I was really happy to see that they were giving back. Everyone knows someone who has been affected by this disease and they took it upon themselves to help others in a time of need.


CW: What was the conversation like when you told Sarah and David you had breast cancer?

AWD: After I told my immediate family, Sarah and David were the first people I called. It was a difficult conversation, especially considering what they went through with David’s cancer. It’s a hard thing to say, but I think it’s an even harder thing to hear. I knew they needed to know, but I also know how they felt when they heard those words.


CW: What was the reception like during your first trip back to Alabama?

AWD: I came back before my first surgery. It was after my first chemotherapy treatment. Two of my very dear friends from Pensacola offered to drive me up. I think that was probably what gave me the strength from the very beginning. All of the alumni were there and were very supportive. I knew from that moment on, if I needed anything, I had people there fighting for me.


CW: You come back every year. What are some things you and some of the other survivors talk about or share with each other when you come to town?

AWD: More than anything it gives people awareness, but more importantly it gives people hope. We are all aware that people die of breast cancer. When you look around at the people that are there, it gives newly diagnosed people hope and lets them know that there is a support system and you can survive. It gives people who’ve been survivors for a long time the opportunity to give back and offer encouragement for others.


Allie Green Hayes

Crimson White: How were David and Sarah when you told them you had breast cancer?

Allie Green Hayes: They were great. It was unbelievable because they were starting their cancer journey around the same time I was. They were very, very supportive and sent me things about healing. They were wonderful.


CW: You were able to make it back for the first “pink” meet. What was that like?

AGH: I made it back for the very first one in 2005. It was amazing and very gratifying to see what Sarah and David had done to use their position to give back to the community and raise money and awareness for breast cancer. It was very emotional for all of us and such an awesome experience.


CW: What are some things you’re doing now to raise awareness?

AGH: I do a program called “Reach for Recovery” in which I reach out to other women who have breast cancer, especially women who were diagnosed when they were young. I try to help them through their process. My family and I also do the “Race for the Cure” every year.


CW: What are you looking forward to most about this year’s “pink” meet?

AGH: My husband is coming to Alabama for the first time and I’m excited to show him the campus and where I did gymnastics. I can’t wait to see some of my former teammates and catch up with them. I’ll also get to meet some of the survivors and share stories. I get to the see the gymnastics, which should be a great show.


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