senior women's Tennessee team.
Tennessee’s Lolo: Champion in Life
OLYMPICS CONNECTION MAKES FOR PERFECT COINCIDENCE
As luck would have it the first session of the 2012 USTA League Southern Section
Championships coincides with the beginning of the Summer Olympics and just as
champions from all over the South will gather in Mobile so will champions from
all over the World be gathering in London.
The US Olympic Team has a track athlete named Lolo Jones, and the senior 4.0 women’s team from Nashville, has a Lolo -- Lolo Furhman -- as well. We have dubbed her “Lolo Jones,” not just because of our team name but also because of the amazing struggle and battle that she has engaged in over the past eight years.
This battle with cancer not only took tennis out of her life for a time but threatened her life as well.
Lolo had her first surgery in 2000 and then after a period of remission had to
have more surgery in 04. It seemed all was going well when after a visit to the
hospital for appendicitis in 2009, a large tumor was discovered. This started a
series of surgeries and treatments that left Lolo in severe pain, physically
spent and almost unable to walk. At one point she despaired of ever walking
without pain again much less ever playing tennis. As part of her treatment
program in 2011, she took an experimental drug that proved as toxic to her
system as the cancer. After severe and debilitating side effects, her doctor
finally determined that she was allergic to the drug. With lots of fortitude,
patience and a strong religious faith Lolo has battled hard to regain her
strength and to get back on the tennis court.
Lolo does not feel sorry for herself, she doesn’t want to know the name of her cancer and she does not want anyone to treat her differently because of it. She is just thrilled to be back playing the sport she loves, being part of a great group of girls and living one moment at a time. She is grateful that this past year has been on relatively free of physical pains and problems so she can experience her dream of playing tennis again.
This is Lolo’s first trip to a Section Championship and it has opened a whole new world for her, inspiring her to get stronger physically and battle harder to maintain her good health. She feels that USTA competition has given her the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people, and to truly enjoy herself and the sport she loves -- something she thought she would never be able to do again. Her words: “I thank God for these last wonderful months and although I may ‘lose’ a tennis match, I know in my heart that it is a true win just to be able to step on the court and compete.”
Our team feels like we “won” when Lolo joined our team with her gentle spirit, wonderful outlook on life and her great attitude toward tennis. We are blessed to have her in our lives. We hope to be able to give her a trip to Nationals to complete her dream. We will try our best.