March 14, 2012
Head coach Brett Hawke and the Auburn women's swimming and diving team visited patients at East Alabama Medical Center. The student-athletes visited patients in the Cancer Center, several as they were receiving chemotherapy.
The team gave the patients Auburn goody bags and spent time with each patient, and several of their family members, learning about their backgrounds.
"We had a great time, giving back to the community," Hawke said. "The ladies on our team haven't stopped talking about the patients they met."
Members of the hospital staff and several of the swimmers got emotional when Hawke and assistant coach Sam Busch unexpectedly took off their AU jackets and presented them to one of the patients, who was a big Auburn fan, and Chelsea Kroll, an Oncology Social Worker who assisted the group with their visit and introduced them to the patients they met.
"It was a delight to have the team visit with us," Kroll said. "The laughter and light shared was a wonderful experience and we are cheering for them at the NCAA Championships!"
Debra Hazeldine, administrative support and camp director for Auburn swimming, coordinated their annual visit and accompanied the team.
"It was an amazing venture out," Hazeldine said. "The patients were so sweet and happy to have us visit them. It was a huge feel-good moment for us to be able to help brighten their day, as they received their treatment."
The Auburn swimming and diving team is set to host the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships March 15-17 at James E. Martin Aquatics Center on the Auburn Campus.