Hiatt fighting with a smile

Published 12:21 am Wednesday, January 28, 2009

By Staff
By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Every time Haley Hiatt is faced with a new challenge, she confronts it head-on, and with a smile.
Hiatt, a Washington High School sophomore, went through rounds of chemotherapy to battle Hodgkin’s disease, which was initially diagnosed Sept. 2.
She thought she had battled her last foe when she was given a clean bill of health Nov. 7.
However, the affable Hiatt, a multi-sport standout with the Pam Pack, is going through another fight. She is now in the midst of radiation treatments.
Hiatt puts on a brave face with each challenge she faces.
Hiatt keeps that positive attitude whether in the hospital or on the playing field.
Hiatt’s accomplishments are highlighted in Faces in the Crowd in the Feb. 2 edition of Sports Illustrated.
WHS athletic director Darin Vaughan is proud of Hiatt.
The court inside the gymnasium at WHS has proven to be a saving grace for Hiatt. She played the final six matches of the volleyball season in the fall, and is averaging 12.0 points and 10.0 rebounds with the Washington Pam Pack junior varsity girls basketball team this winter.
In her first game since being given the clean bill of health, Hiatt scored 10 points in a 59-31 win over D.H. Conley.
Heather Recko, the Pam Pack junior varsity coach, said Hiatt is “a leader with great spirit. She has a big heart and she’s a good girl.”
Despite having to go through 14 days of radiation, which is performed at the Marion L. Sheppard Cancer Center, Hiatt is determined to not miss any time on the court. The 5-foot, 9-inch leaper also plays on a traveling volleyball team.
She admits that the radiation treatments can be rough.
While Hiatt continues her battles, she is happy with how she’s looking these days. The chemotherapy treatments zapped Hiatt of her hair, but her brown locks are quickly growing back.
Hiatt said the support she has received has helped make her battle somewhat easier.
Kim Hiatt said Haley’s ability to play athletics has also helped her daughter.
With all the treatments Hiatt has had to endure, the costs are beginning to mount. Kim Hiatt said she truly appreciates all the help and donations everybody, including First Church of Christ, First Baptist Church, Don Cox and Lila Everett, has provided.
If people want to help out, they may contact Ty Carter, President of the Kiwanis Club, or First Church of Christ, to send a donation.
Hiatt will continue her battle while wearing her big smile. She offered words of encouragement to those in similar situations.