Chris Cavin and Co-captain Nancy Furlong
© Andrew Ong
By Tom LaDue, USTA.com
Tucson, Ariz. - The month of October has special significance for the more than 420,000 USTA League players who participate in the Adult and Senior divisions. During the month, 20 national champions are crowned in their respective divisions.
The past year has had special significance for the 4.5 Senior Women’s team from South Burlington, Vermont. Each year the “Hot Flashes” circle the month of October on their calendar in hopes of representing the New England section and earning a trip to the National Championships.
Just over a year ago, Chris Cavin one of the captains of the team, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer prior to the 2008 USTA League 4.5 Senior National Championships.
“I told the team that they should still make the trip to the championships,” said Cavin. “I’ll be at next year’s National Championships with you all of you.”
The team followed Cavin’s wishes and made the trip to Tucson but with just six players and no subs.
“They kept me updated on how things were going by calling after every match with updates,” replied Cavin. “Unfortunately, they came up a little short.”
But just six weeks after surgery Cavin was back out doing what she loved. “Being on the court I didn’t think about cancer. I was with my friends and it was just like old times. Tennis made me feel like I was never sick and that maybe everything was just one big mistake.”
“Even after the chemotherapy and radiation she still managed to play tennis again,” said Co-captain Nancy Furlong. “Chris has been an inspiration to not only all of her teammates but everyone that knows her too.”
A year has passed and Cavin kept her word to the team and here she is hitting the courts in Tucson in 2009.
“She just debuted her new hair style this year after she lost it all from the chemotherapy and radiation treatments,” Furlong remarked.
The “Hot Flashes” will not be advancing to Sunday after going 0-3 in their flight but after all this team has been through in the past year the fact they all got to come and enjoy the event is something that can never be replaced.