Hatchell's blueberry patch helps fight cancer
Posted August 16, 2013
Scientists say blueberries powerful antioxidants and anthocyanins make them one of nature's top cancer fighters, two things that hit home for North Carolina women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell.
"In 2000, I had my own little scare, but everything was ok," said Hatchell.
Outside her summer home, deep in the heart of Black Mountain, blooms a beautiful blueberry patch, 240 bushes, give or take every season.
That's when she got an idea: Let people pick from her property and instead of collecting admission, she'd ask them to mail a donation to the foundation that helped Hatchell, UNC's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
"I was just trying to do it because I got a really good report and how good they had been to me," said Hatchell.
It's all on the honor system, $5 a basket. It might not seem like much, but it adds up.
"Some people give $10, $15, $20," Hatchell explained. "Some of them give thousands of dollars."
For Hatchell, the only thing sweeter than the taste is knowing her patch makes a difference.
"Just recently (Lineberger's) prize pupil that reported to the board, she was talking about her cancer and how she was treated at Lineberger, and they asked her how she found out about the center," Hatchell said. "She said, 'Well, I live right outside of Asheville, North Carolina, and I go out to the Lineberger Cancer Center Blueberry Patch and pick blueberries."
Now, if only they came in a lighter shade of blue.