Teal T-shirts are symbolic at Raintree Country Club.
Luann O’Connell created the T-shirts as a way to support her tennis doubles partner, Lynn Davis, who is battling cancer.
The front of the shirts are adorned with two crossed tennis rackets and the names Pamela and Lynn. On the back is a tennis ball heart along with a definition of team, which was tweaked to reflect the support and camaraderie the tennis ladies at Raintree have shown for each other.
The definition says: “A group of people who support each other … and happens to play tennis.”
O’Connell, 51, said she immediately called Pamela Boyajian when she learned about Davis’ battle with cancer. Boyajian had faced her own cancer battle in 2007.
“I knew she would know what to do because she’s been through it,” O’Connell said.
Boyajian said she went through cancer treatment she was a new Raintree member. She recalled how her tennis team, including women she’d never met, rallied around her and brought her meals, cards and support.
“You need all of the help you can get,” says Boyajian, who underwent surgery and six rounds of chemotherapy.
Boyajian said she is happy to join forces with O’Connell and the rest of the Raintree Country Club tennis teams to support Davis.
“It is a good partnership,” O’Connell says. “I handle the logistics like meals, and Pamela knows what to provide on an emotional level.”
O’Connell distributed the shirts in September to coincide with National Ovarian Cancer month. At that time, they thought Davis had ovarian cancer.
However, subsequent surgery proved that diagnosis to be incorrect, and Davis has since been diagnosed with a rare form of appendix cancer.
To continue their support, O’Connell also enlisted the help of Sarah Hill, 54, the club’s pro shop manager, to sell teal shoelaces in honor of Boyajian and Davis.
“We have sold over 160 pairs of laces, which is pretty impressive, given that we’ve only got about 200 members who play tennis,” Hill said.
She recalled one woman demurred when asked if she wanted to buy a pair, saying they didn’t really match her tennis outfits.
“Do you know what they’re for?” Hill asked.
When she explained, the woman instantly changed her mind, buying a pair and lacing up her shoes with them on the spot.
“Seeing everyone wearing them not only shows support but means we’re spreading awareness,” Boyajian said.
O’Connell said she misses her doubles partner on the courts, but she sees a lot of the tenacity Davis has on the courts in her cancer fight.
“She runs for every ball,” O’Connell said. “And that’s how she’s fighting this cancer.”
“We’re just trying to lift her up the best way we can, so she can focus on getting better,” Boyajian said.