At 19, Duncan Hay understands how to deal with a tough situation. When he was 15, he received a stem cell transplant at Duke. As his family worked through his treatment, they found solace and normalcy in the H.E.A.R.T.S. Club at Hillandale.
Started by Karl Kimball, director of golf operations, the H.E.A.R.T.S. Club – or Hillandale Embracing a Really Tough Situation – gives families the opportunity to get out beyond the hospital walls when children are undergoing treatment.
“The H.E.A.R.T.S. program has done a lot for me, and I know it does a lot for other kids, Hay told Herald-Sun reporter Lauren Horsch earlier this week. Hay is also the first H.E.A.R.T.S. alum to return to Hillandale to participate in the tournament for the organization. When Kimball told Hay the tournament day was about him, Hay responded, “No, it’s about all the kids about to go into the hospital.” It really is about both, though, because Hay and his family can attest to the importance of what the program does, and the program will continue to help families like Hay’s.
To honor both, we are bestowing this week’s Grit Award on Hay and the H.E.A.R.T.S. Club.