View Full Version : Haynes wants to turn his pain into hope for others

10-06-2006, 12:21 AM

By Teresa Varley

It was just moments after practice ended at the Steelers facility on the South Side when Verron Haynes sat down on a bench, wiped the sweat off his forehead and sat back to relax and collect his thoughts.

The warm afternoon sun glistened off the river, while leaves changing colors dotted the hillside.

The calm surroundings on the picture-perfect fall afternoon provided a deep contrast to the intensity that just took place on the field.

For Haynes, that peaceful atmosphere was just right. Because as he began talking about his cousin, his mind was somewhere else at times, possibly reverting back to a happier time in his life.

Haynes cousin, Kadine DeCosta, was like a sister to him. She grew up in the same house as he did. She was a friend, a confidant and someone he loved dearly.

"When I got to the NFL she was the sister who kept me straight," said Haynes. "We grew up together. She would come to the games. On draft day I got away from everybody, I didn't want anyone around. No party or anything. I just wanted to be with my loved ones. There was just my daughter, my mom, Kadine and my brother. I didn't want anything else. Those were the four people I wanted around me."

What saddens Haynes these days is the absence of DeCosta in his life and the life of his family. She lost her battle with breast cancer almost three years ago, losing her life at just 26-years old.

"When it hits so close to home, it hurts really bad," said Haynes, his voice trailing off for a moment. "The treatment was the hard part. Seeing such a pretty young lady and the transformation it had on her. I think that was difficult to deal with, especially in the last days. Trying to be there for her and seeing her go through that was hard for our family to go through."

Haynes knows there is nothing he can do to bring DeCosta back. But there is something he can do to help others. And he is.

"Her death really made me more alert of breast cancer," said Haynes. "I started a foundation so we can better understand what is going on and try to find a cure. I know it affects a lot of homes. It is something I want out there to recognize it is a problem. We have to come together and try to come up with something."

His foundation, the Verron Haynes Foundation, is still in the young stages. Haynes helps raise funds for it by doing autograph sessions and speaking engagements. He would like some day to set up a scholarship in his cousin's name.

10-06-2006, 12:44 AM
It's good to see he is trying to do something that could help others even when it won't help someone that was close to him.
I had an Uncle die of lung cancer and a grandfather die of lung problems within a year of each other. When my grandfather passed away my uncle (this was his father) was a couple rooms down from him in the hospital getting Chemo treatments and was too weak to get out of bed to see him. One of the worst days I've ever had. I really felt bad for my father who lost his father and brother in a years time.

10-06-2006, 02:21 AM
Cancer is a sad thing... I've kind of hinted to this story a few times but I never really shared it around here so this seems like the time... I'll keep it brief...

I met my wife Sept 96, we were together every single day and engaged Nov 96. During this same time her father asked me if I wanted to move into a spare bedroom to save up money and to be around them more. Being in college and wanting to save money I jumped at the opportunity and for other reasons too ;) Any how, I ended up quitting my job about 4 months after moving in and spent about the next 3 months hanging out with my wifes father. Oct 97, he was diagnosed with Melanoma Cancer and it was in his brain... He started to go pretty fast the next month so since my wife was his only daughter we wanted him to be there for our wedding and walk her down the aisle... Late November my wife put together our wedding in 9 days and her father was there for it and was able to walk his daughter down the aisle... One week later he was bed ridden and no longer had control of his body... Jan 6 98 he passed away...

10-06-2006, 02:27 AM
That is good you were both able to be there for him and give him the chance to do that for his daughter. I'm sure that meant a lot to him. Not to mention the time you spent with him before.

10-06-2006, 02:33 AM
That time spent with him was awesome! He's definitely missed especially now... That story was hard to type :crying:

It's always good though to see others help out when they experienced something like this, like what Haynes is doing. I know it doesn't take much money to get something going like that but it usually helps when you have a recognizable name to add to it and draw the attention... I think I can forgive him for his fumble 2 weeks ago now ;)...

10-06-2006, 02:47 AM
I know how you feel. I was really close to my grandfather and almost never talk about his passing with anyone. It was just over 2 years ago now. He was like a father to me. He loved his grandkids and great-grandkids right to death and would do anything for them. My son took it really hard because he loved going up and staying with my grandparents. They spoiled him rotten! The worst thing I've ever had to do in my life was tell my son his great-grandfather had died. I still have a hard time talking about it today.

10-06-2006, 02:51 AM
That stuff is hard to talk about... My grandfather which I'm very close with just went through a battle with Colon cancer and was able win that battle so far. You see, I haven't lost any relatives close to me with the exception of my father-in-law. My parents had me when they were very young so all of my grandparents are in theri 60's and still living with the exception of one that passed when I was 2.

I'm not looking forward to any of those days either... it shakes me up just thinking about it...

10-06-2006, 03:07 AM
My parents were 18 and 19 when I was born so I was lucky enough to have been close to my grandparents for a long time. I only new one great-grandparent when I grew up so I am glad my son has been able to spend a lot of time with his. He has only lost the one so far. The bad part is it was the one he spent the most time with.

10-06-2006, 03:16 AM
Yep my parents were 17! I was about 14 when I lost the first of my 2 great grandparents that I had living. It was hard on me for some time. The other great grandparent just passed away about 6 years ago, I wasn't to close with him and only met him a few times.

That's gotta be hard on your son for sure, probably had a lot of questions and didn't quite understand. Those are the days that I'm not looking forward to as a parent...

House of Steel
10-06-2006, 09:17 AM
My Father was 19 and My mother was 17 when I was born. Both of my mother's parents were long time smokers for over 50 years of their lives. My grandmother passed in 2000 from emphysemia and lung cancer, I dearly, dearly miss her so much since my mother and I don't talk much. She would straighten my mother out real quick if she knew what was going on. Her darn husband is controlling her and not allowing contact between her and I. I get very upset over that. My grandfather passed away in 2002. He was suffering from lung cancer, emphysema, and colon cancer I believe, one morning he forgotten to take his medication and that took his life right there. It was June 1st of 2002, 9 days before my 28th birthday. I took that very hard. It was a very difficult time. I lost my Great Grandmother Martha (1985) to phuemonia and Great Grandfather Bill also. (1983), I was a little kid. Then lost my Great Grandmother Etta in (1997) to a long-illness. Finally, lost my Great Grandmother Mila (1999) at 101, she died from old age and she was a healthy woman all her life. My family means so much to me. One of my ex girlfriends passed away in 2000 from breast cancer and vaginal cancer and she was only 23 years of age. It was a very sad incident that happened.

10-06-2006, 11:43 AM
That's an amazing story AZ, it truely is ! LIke I mentioned to you in our pager messages, things always happen for a reason, Im so glad he was able to be there for your wedding.

Cancer hits close to home for me as well, my mom has suffered through kidney cancer and had to have 1 of them removed several years ago. She's been a trooper and had no problems since in terms of anything coming back but it's always a terrible thing to endure at the time.

10-06-2006, 11:51 AM
It will definitely be nice when they find a cure for cancer... don't know if we will see it our lifetime though.

10-06-2006, 07:40 PM
We're so close to finding cures for so many diseases, it surely will be a wonderful day people won't have to worry about such problems anymore !

10-07-2006, 11:54 PM
Once they find a cure though there is probably going to be something new that doesn't have a cure :dunno: it always seems to be the case!

10-08-2006, 12:32 AM
Once they find a cure though there is probably going to be something new that doesn't have a cure :dunno: it always seems to be the case!

You got that right AZ. It's a never ending battle. There have been so many diseases we have wiped out only to have even worse new ones take their place.