Former Vol State student Hayden Shrum, 23 died after losing his battle with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia on May 26, 2010.
“I’ve known him since he was 15. He was the starting pitcher for us for two years. I recruited him from Macon County High School,” said Mike Crossland, Head Baseball Coach.
“He was actually buried in his Vol State uniform. Nobody will ever wear his uniform here again as long as I’m here,” said Crossland.
“Hayden was always one that had a smile on his face. He never complained after he had chemo or anything. He spent a lot of time letting others know that you can be positive even when things go bad,” said Bobby Hudson, Dept. Chair of Health and Physical Education.
Crossland said, “Hayden was free-spirited, never let anything bother him. He lived life.”
Shrum was a sports writer for the Macon County Chronicle and kept a journal on caringbridge which is an online journal for patients dealing with cancer and other health issues.
“He was a tremendous writer. Every hat we gave him to play in he would write, ‘no regrets.’ I don’t think the kid had any (regrets),” said Crossland.
Crossland said that Shrum would come by Vol State to visit after he had blood work. He was at Vanderbilt Medical Center from May 2009 until Thanksgiving 2009.
“He sent me a text message on Thanksgiving saying he was cancer free. His ten year old sister donated bone marrow for his transplant,” said Crossland.
“The funeral was very emotional. He touched a lot of people,” Crossland added.
“He has been an inspiration to people in the athletic department. You might not have known when he was around, but you always knew when he wasn’t,” said Hudson of Shrum’s humble nature.
Hudson said that Shrum’s story will never be forgotten at Vol State.
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