Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wear Pink on Monday for Kay Yow

North Carolina State’s Kay Yow, the Hall of Fame Women’s basketball coach who won more than 700 games while earning fans with her decades long fight against breast cancer died on Saturday. She was 66. Yow was first diagnosed with the disease in 1987. A public viewing is scheduled for Friday morning in Cary, followed by the funeral that afternoon. Yow will be buried the next day in her hometown of Gibsonville, located about 70 miles west of Raleigh. “She’s just been a great friend to so many people; obviously left her footprints all over the place with the kids she has taught and molded," Tennessee coach Pat Summitt told ESPN. "And she is a woman that had fought such a hard fight, but it was always about everyone else, never about Kay." Yow had a record of 737-344 in 38 years -- 34 years with the Wolfpack -- in a career filled with countless milestones. She coached the U.S. Olympic women's team to a gold medal in 1988; won four Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championships; earned 20 NCAA tournament bids; and reached the Final Four in 1998. She also was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2002; North Carolina State dedicated "Kay Yow Court" at Reynolds Coliseum in 2007.
But for many fans, Yow was best defined by her unwavering resolve while fighting cancer, from raising awareness and money for research to staying with her team through the debilitating effects of the disease and chemotherapy treatments. In her final months, Yow was on hormonal therapy as the cancer spread to her liver and bones. She never flinched or complained, relying on her faith as the disease progressed. She commonly noted there were other patients with "harder battles than I'm fighting" and said it was inspiring for her to stay with her team. "If you start to dwell on the wrong things, it'll take you down fast," Yow said in 2007. "Every morning, I wake up and the first thing I think of is I'm thankful. I'm thankful for another day." Kay will always be an inspiration to girls and women everywhere. She will be missed by everyone! Rest In Peace, Kay! So on Monday, wear Pink.Show support for not only Kay but millions of women all over the country who are battling Breast Cancer.