b'From the depths to the heightsFor Tom Hayes and Don Barbacovi, giving back is a personal thing, and benefits everyone they come in contact withby Doug MillerT om Hayes has a new set of clubshimself drawn to thoughts of helpingBut hes still alive and fighting, that hes eager to swing in thechildren, just as he had done throughouthes still doing what he can to help sunshine. Don Barbacovi is a bogeyhis career spent in classrooms. children suffering from this disease, golfer and says he could be better,He studied up on leukemia andand now he has more support around which he has in common with justlearned that the blood disease typicallyhim, including a former high school about everyone else roaming the greenstrikes adults over the age of 55 andprincipal from Everett, Wash. named fairways of the Earth. children under the age of 15. Given thatDon Barbacovi.On Aug. 27, both men will tee it upSeattle Childrens is a leader in leukemiaBarbacovis name came up in the at Avalon Golf Links in Burlington,research, development and treatment,midst of Hayes stem cell recovery Wash., and while Hayes will be hopinghe contacted the hospitals High-Riskwhen Halferty suggested another for extra yardage out of his new sticksLeukemia program (HRL), which led tofundraiser, this time on the golf and Barbacovi aims for a birdie or two,a tour with the lead doctor, Todd Cooper,course. Halferty knew Barbacovi the two men will be doing much moreand Hayes building a fundraiser websitethrough church and local golf outings, important work than striping drives orfor the HRL program.and he knew that Barbacovi had a draining putts. Hayes then conceived a mountain- cancer story of his own.The reason for the outing is theclimbing-based benefit event calledOn Christmas Eve in 2014, he second annual Swing for a CureClimb for a Cure, and soon, his friendlearned that his youngest grandchild, charity golf tournament run by HayesFrank Halferty, who had started aLucy, who was three at the time, had foundation, For a Cure NW. Hayes issupport network for Hayes through theleukemia. And for the next five and a a retired elementary school teacherCaringbridge.org site, joined in helpinghalf years, Lucy was a warrior, going from Edmonds, Wash., and hes also ato get donors for the climb. In Augustthrough a bone-marrow transplant two-time survivor of leukemia.2019, about 50 people hiked up Saukand stem-cell treatment.I feel that if I could use whatMountain in the northern Cascades andMost adults couldnt go through what happened to me to help others withraised over $100,000.she went through, Barbacovi says.this incredibly difficult situation, then IIn the summer of 2020, Hayes learnedWhen the leukemia kept coming feel as though it doesnt get better thanthat he had relapsed, and he beganback, Lucy underwent multiple that, Hayes says.chemo again while preparing for a stemrounds of Chimeric Antigen Receptor It has been worse than that for Hayes.cell transplant, which he underwent inT cell therapy, in which her immune In December 2017, Hayes wasDecember 2020. Since then, it has beensystem T cells were changed in a diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemiaa physical and emotional struggle forlaboratory so they would attack her and spent 78 days in treatment at ahim, with his body having numerouscancer cells. Again, Lucy appeared Seattle hospital, receiving five roundsrun-ins with what is called Graft vs. Hostto be getting better, and again, the of chemotherapy. He went intoDisease, or when donor bone marrow orcancer kept returning.remission in January 2018 and foundstem cells attack the recipient.Then one day she just said to her mom and dad, I dont want to do this anymore. I want to go to heaven, For more information on SWING FOR A CURE, visit ForaCureNW.org, or emailBarbacovi says. She was eight and a [email protected]
when she passed, and I realized There are numerous charitable golf tournaments and events held throughoutthat you have to turn something the Northwest each season. If you want to participate, volunteer, donate, orawful into something good or it will even post your own charitable event, visit the PNGAs All Access Calendar atdrive you crazy.thePNGA.org/AllAccess. 24PACIFIC NORTHWEST GOLFER| JUNE 2022'