Seven years ago, Betty Haisten hosted two families at the first Champions of Chemo Lake Party on Lake Martin. A celebratory event for children who had finished chemotherapy, this party would eventually grow to ten families over the next seven years — a triumph of love and joy for kids who had fought their way to a new, chemo-free life. It’s aTeam’s longest-running patient family event, and we cherish it greatly!
Read on to learn more about Betty, her daughter Ashley, and the lake party event!
Who Are Betty and Ashley?
Ashley Hill was one of aTeam’s original board members. Her father fought cancer in 2005 and ultimately passed away, so the Champions of Chemo Lake Party is especially meaningful for her. Along with her husband, Mike, and their three children, Ashley makes it a point to help the patients and their families come to the event and have a wonderful time.
Betty Haisten is Ashley’s mother. Her family has always loved being on the lake and playing in the water, so it made sense to share that joy with others who might not have had the same opportunity due to treatments. Betty and her family also own Toomer’s Drug Store in Auburn, Alabama, which means all the party attendants get to enjoy Toomer’s famous homemade lemonade!
Why a Lake Party?
Many of the children who come to Champions of Chemo have not had the opportunity to be to the lake, or even on a boat due to treatment. For them, the party is the highlight of the summer! As Betty opens up her lakehouse to these families, deep friendships take root, and some of the kids come back to the party year after year.
Additionally, a lake party allows families a relaxing, leisurely time to bond over their shared experiences. Community is vital in a situation like childhood cancer, and the lake party provides the perfect atmosphere for getting to know one another — and developing friendships that will last a lifetime.
Our Thankfulness for Their Willingness
aTeam is immensely grateful to Betty and Ashley for their willingness to open up the lakehouse to these families every summer. They share their Seadoos, their boat, and their energy to make sure these kids and their families have an amazing day on the lake. We could not make this happen without Betty and Ashley, and we are humbled by their willing, helpful spirits!
Do You Know Someone We Can Help?
aTeam exists to help the families of children with cancer by providing financial, emotional, and spiritual support during the treatment process. If you know someone who could use our help, please contact us today!