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North Carolina

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.

Sylvia Hatchell UNC coach grows support for cancer research

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.

8 Comments

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  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Aug 16, 7:25 p.m.

    Saw this on WRAL tonight - what a wonderful story, and Coach Hatchell is doing a great service for the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center.

  • flagship4ever Aug 17, 1:27 a.m.

    Fighting Cancer with Blueberries:

    The Carolina Way.

  • YouGotThatRight Aug 17, 3:17 a.m.

    Me loves some Booberry Crunch.

  • fed.up69 Aug 17, 6:04 a.m.

    As a State fan I will always be thankful of Coach Hatchell for her support of Coach Yow during her battle with cancer.

  • olsportsfan Aug 17, 9:28 a.m.

    Not a Carolina fan but Wow! You're just a class act Coach Hatchell. And as I suspected good ole country girl.

  • Hammerhead Aug 17, 10:33 a.m.

    Strong work Coach! No nobler deed than altruism.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Aug 17, 11:00 a.m.

    As a State fan I will always be thankful of Coach Hatchell for her support of Coach Yow during... View More

    — Posted by fed.up69

    Very true, and the real rival is cancer, one I wish Coach Yow could have beaten.

  • Hokies94 Aug 17, 11:35 a.m.

    Super job by Coach Hatchell.

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