July 1, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame softball head coach Deanna Gumpf and her five-year old daughter, Tatum, recently presented a check for $12,046 to the pediatric oncology unit of the South Bend Memorial Hospital. The Irish softball program raised more money than any other school in the nation this past season as part of the NFCA's Strikeout Cancer initiative.
"Being a part of Memorial Hospital and seeing the kids come in and out of here and being a part of Notre Dame - I think it's a great partnership," Gumpf said. "I hope that our program and Notre Dame can continue to give back to Memorial for everything they do for all the kids here."
Notre Dame's Strikeout Cancer game was played against Louisville on April 17. Louisville even auctioned off its game-worn jerseys and donated the money to Notre Dame's cause. Tatum, who was diagnosed with leukemia last summer, threw out the ceremonial first pitch of that contest.
"It was very emotional for all of us, because that was the first game she was able to attend since she was diagnosed," said Gumpf, whose team advanced to the regional round of the 2011 NCAA Softball Championship. "It was very cool, and Tatum loved every minute of it."
The Gumpf family recently returned from its "Make a Wish" trip in Orlando. Tatum brought along her mother, father and older brother, Brady. The family split time at the Disney, Sea World and Universal theme parks.
"It was a dream come true for my kids," Gumpf said. "They've had a heck of the year so they deserved it and we had a great time just having the four of us do something special."
Tatum continues to take medication daily and makes regular visits for treatments and checkups.